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|Visits by min(dp) 1 November 2005 to 1 December 2006|
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|Visits by US of S I November 2005 to 1December 2006|
|Date of visit||Place visited|
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK military personnel have been classified as (a) missing in action and (b) missing
presumed dead in (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan since the start of military operations in those countries; and whether these figures are included in casualty reporting. 
Mr. Ingram: Missing in action and missing presumed dead are not terms that are used by the MOD. The closest corresponding terms are missing not known (MNK) and missing believed killed (MBK), as laid out in Joint Casualty and Compassionate Policy and Procedures (Joint Service Publication 751), a copy of which is available in the Library of the House.
There are no personnel currently classified as MNK or MBK. All those initially listed as MBK have subsequently been re-categorised as Killed in Action (KIA) or Died on Operations (DOP) as their identity has been confirmed. These are included in the fatality data published on the MOD website:
The step to subsequently re-categorise individuals as KIA or DOP is necessary, particularly after such incidents as aircraft crashes, as it may be some time before the identity of those involved can be verified. In the interim period they are categorised as MBK.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the 13 practical steps toward nuclear disarmament referred to on page 13 of the White Paper CM6994, in respect of which of these steps progress has been made; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne: We continue to support and have made progress on the 13 Practical Steps, agreed at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in 2000, which are applicable to the UK. These are listed in 2000 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Final Document, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. The 13 steps are:
1. The early entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
2. A nuclear testing moratorium pending entry into force of the CTBT.
3. The immediate commencement of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a non-discriminatory, multilateral, and effectively verifiable fissile material cut-off treaty. The negotiations should aim to be concluded within five years.
4. The establishment in the Conference on Disarmament of a subsidiary body to deal with nuclear disarmament.
5. The principle of irreversibility to apply to all nuclear disarmament and reduction measures.
6. An unequivocal undertaking by nuclear-weapon states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.
7. The early entry into force and implementation of START II, the conclusion of START III, and the preservation and strengthening of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
8. The completion and implementation of the Trilateral Initiative between the United States, the Russian Federation, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
9. Steps by all nuclear-weapon states toward disarmament including unilateral nuclear reductions; transparency on weapons capabilities and Article Vl-related agreements; reductions in non-strategic nuclear weapons; measures to reduce the operational status of nuclear weapons; a diminishing role for nuclear weapons in security policies; the engagement of nuclear-weapon states as soon as appropriate in a process leading to complete disarmament.
10. The placement of excess military fissile materials under IAEA or other international verification and the disposition of such material for peaceful purposes.
11. Reaffirmation of the objective of general and complete disarmament under effective international control.
12. Regular state reporting in the NPT review process on the implementation of Article VI obligations.
13. The development of verification capabilities necessary to ensuring compliance with nuclear disarmament agreements.
We have signed and ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban treaty, continued to observe the moratorium on nuclear weapons testing, continued to press for the negotiation in the Conference on Disarmament, without preconditions, of a fissile material cut-off treaty whilst maintaining our moratorium. We have demonstrated our commitment to the irreversibility of nuclear disarmament. We continue to reiterate our unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of our nuclear arsenal leading to nuclear disarmament and have undertaken several unilateral steps towards nuclear disarmament including reductions in warhead numbers, increased transparency by publishing historical accounting records of our defence fissile material holdings and reduced the operational status of our deterrent.
All fissile material no longer required for defence purposes is under international safeguards. We continue to reaffirm our commitment to achieving the general and complete disarmament objectives of Article VI. We report regularly in a number of different formats and fora on the progress we have made under Article VI. We have pursued a widely welcomed programme to develop UK expertise in methods and technologies that could be used to verify nuclear disarmament. Finally, we produced a series of working papers culminating in a presentation at the 2005 NPTnon-proliferation treatyReview Conference. The Atomic Weapons Establishment continues to undertake research in this area.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Agency was formed on 1 April 2005 to take on responsibility for the decommissioning and clear-up of civil nuclear sites. As a result the Ministry of Defence transferred all its liabilities relating to civil nuclear sites and the associated values of provisions and funding for
decommissioning costs over to the NDA. This is detailed in the MOD annual report and accounts 2005-06, copies of which are available in the Library of the House. The MOD has retained funding to meet its ongoing nuclear liabilities for the cost of facility decommissioning and the treatment and storage of nuclear waste at MOD sites, as well as the disposal of nuclear submarine waste.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many warheads in the stockpile of operationally available warheads will be dismantled as a result of the reductions in the stockpile announced in the White Paper CM6994; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne: The 20 per cent. reduction in the maximum number of operationally available warheads from fewer than 200 to fewer than 160, announced in the White Paper The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent (Cm 6994) published on 4 December, will be matched by a corresponding number of warheads (ie about 40) being dismantled.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the procurement timeframe is for the programme to build new Vanguard-Class ballistic missile submarines; at what stage he expects main gate approval; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) planned service life at construction and (b) actual service life was for each decommissioned nuclear submarine that has been in service with the Royal Navy. 
Des Browne: Information on the planned service life at construction of the Dreadnought, Valiant-Churchill and Resolution Classes of nuclear submarine is not readily available. The actual service life of vessels in these classes was as follows:
|Vessel||Actual Service Life in Years|
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