Further memorandum submitted by Nirex
Thank you for your letter dated 27 November.
On reflection, there are three things that I
would like to draw to the Committee's attention.
1. There was some discussion about progress
made in Finland and Sweden. Nirex believe there are real lessons
to be learned from their experience and would suggest that it
would be useful for the Committee to meet representatives from
SKB (Sweden) and Posiva (Finland) to get a direct input from them.
This could be done either by visiting Sweden and Finland or by
inviting them across to the UK.
The role of parliamentarians and local politicians
in both the Swedish and Finnish cases might also be explored and,
again, introductions could be effected through our sister organisations
if this would be helpful.
2. Given the Committee's interest in the
previous site selection process, I would like to expand on my
response about the naming of the shortlisted sites.
As explained to the Committee, and in accordance
with government policy, Nirex is not currently in a position to
provide this information. Nonetheless we appreciate that there
is a case for release of this information and, as such, previous
requests have been referred to an independent Transparency Review
Panel under the Nirex appeals procedure.
To respond to these requests the independent
Transparency Review Panel has asked that Nirex seek clarification
from the DTI as to whether government policy on release of this
information needs to be updated, specifically in the light of
moves to prepare for the Freedom of Information Act. Consequently,
Nirex has written to the DTI. A copy of the relevant letter is
3. One very important element to Nirex's
work which was not discussed during our Oral evidence, but which
will be of interest to the Committee in considering safety and
liability matters, is the actual role that Nirex performs at the
end of the nuclear cycle in issuing packaging standards, specifications
and Letters of Comfort.
The Committee may be interested to know that,
subsequent to our appearance at the Select Committee, the Nirex
Board has taken two significant decisions. The first being that
Sir Ken Jackson has been appointed as chairman of Nirex, and the
second is that the Board has decided that Nirex's input to the
DEFRA consultation should propose that Nirex become an independent
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you
wish to pursue any of the points raised above, or have any subsequent