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Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the safety implications of the recent leak at the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant at Sellafield; and when the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate is expected to make its report on the leak. 
British Nuclear Group informed the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) Nuclear Installations Inspectorate on 20 April of a leak of dissolved spent fuel, resulting from a failure in the pipe-work within the Feed Clarification Cell in the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP). Material leaked within THORP into a fully enclosed stainless steel clad cell designed to safely contain such leakages. The plant is in a safe and stable state. There has been no release of radioactivity from THORP and there is no risk to employees, the local community or the environment.
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Safety is the key priority and British Nuclear Group Sellafield Ltd. is working to recover the liquid in a safe and controlled manner. HSE has been kept informed throughout.
HSE is carrying out its own independent investigation, the findings of which it will make public. Because of the wide range and complexity of the investigation it is not yet known when the findings will be reported.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received from the petroleum supply industry concerning the security of supply and strategic reserves. 
Malcolm Wicks: The UK is obliged as a member state of the European Union to hold emergency stocks of oil and as a member of the International Energy Agency to take part in any collective response to a major international supply disruption. These stocks are held by companies. My Department held a public consultation in 2003 and 2004 seeking views on the future of the UK's system for meeting these obligations so as to ensure long-term security of supply, and has been working with the industry since then to agree a basis for the new system.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the total overtime (a) worked and (b) paid has been at the Child Support Agency for each reporting period since 200304; and if he will make a statement. 
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the total overtime (a) worked and (b) paid has been at the Child Support Agency for each reporting period since 200304; and if he will make a statement.
Details on actual hours worked can be accessed through specific payroll interrogation and can only be provided at a disproportionate cost. However we can provide an estimate of the total hours worked based on reasonable assumptions around grade and salaries. This estimate is shown in the table below.
|Number of overtime hours worked||Total overtime expenditure (£ million)|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the (a) costs in staff time and (b) other costs of the delayed introduction of CS2 at the Child Support Agency; and if he will make a statement. 
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate he has made of the extra costs in (a) staff time and (b) other costs of the delayed introduction of CS2 at the Child Support Agency; and if he will make a statement.
An exercise is underway to collect information on the costs of delay that will form part of commercial negotiations with EDS. Following conclusion of these commercial discussions a paper on the costs of delay will be submitted to the Work and Pensions Select Committee.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what research he has collated on international variations in the proportion of economic inactivity in the labour force due to claims for illness and disability; and if he will make a statement. 
Margaret Hodge: Internationally comparable data on the proportion of economic inactivity due to sickness and disability are not available. However, cross-country comparisons of economic inactivity and sickness and disability benefit receipt are available separately and are set out in the tables.
|Economic inactivity rate (percentage) persons 1564|
International comparisons of benefit receipt are difficult to make because of differences in benefit design, definitions of disability and demographics. However, the available evidence shows that the proportion of working age people in the UK in receipt of sickness and disability benefits is around the OECD average of 7 per cent.
|Proportion of the working age population in receipt of sickness and disability benefits (percentage)|
Progress has been made on inactivity in the UK, including among the sick and disabled, though we acknowledge the need to do more. The Department for Work and Pensions Five Year Strategy sets out our intentions to help those people on incapacity benefits to get the support they need to return to work. We are extending employment opportunities more widely, not just to the unemployed, but to those jobless people previously outside the labour market altogether.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average length of time for an appeal by a claimant against a decision on non-entitlement to incapacity benefit to be heard was in each of the last 10 years. 
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question regarding what the average length of time for an appeal by a claimant against a decision on non-entitlement to incapacity benefit to be heard was in each of the last 10 years.
The information you have asked for is not available in the format requested as data on incapacity benefit is only collated since 2000. The table below, therefore, only shows the average length of time for an incapacity benefit appeal to be heard since 2000.
|January 2000 to December 2000||12.15|
|January 2001 to December 2001||10.88|
|January 2002 to December 2002||9.60|
|January 2003 to December 2003||8.86|
|January 2004 to December 2004||8.20|
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