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Civil Nuclear Police Authority
Committee on Climate Change
Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
Advisory Committee on Carbon Abatement Technologies
Committee on Radioactive Waste Management
Fuel Poverty Advisory Group
Nuclear Liabilities Financing Assurance Board
Renewables Advisory Board
UK Chemical Weapons Convention National Authority Advisory Committee
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change from which countries (a) radioactive waste and (b) spent fuel has been received but not yet returned; and what the (i) radioactivity level and (ii) quantity held is in each case. 
Mr. Kidney [holding answer 21 July 2009]: The UK does not allow the import of higher activity radioactive waste, but overseas used nuclear fuel has been received, stored and reprocessed under contract at Sellafield and Dounreay.
All new overseas reprocessing contracts signed since 1976 have contained an option for the radioactive waste arising from such reprocessing to be returned to its country of origin. In 1986 Government took the decision that this option should be exercised.
During this time spent fuel has been received at Sellafield for reprocessing from Japan, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy and Sweden. To date, waste has been returned to Sweden as a result of reprocessing.
High Level Waste will be returned in a solid glass (vitrified) form and preparations are currently under way to make the return of vitrified High Level Waste to overseas customers with reprocessing contracts at Sellafield. Due to commercial constraints we are unable to detail the radioactivity level and quantity held for each customer but the total amount of overseas spent fuel to be reprocessed under new reprocessing contracts signed since 1976 is around 4,500 tonnes.
|Country||Kg HM (kilograms heavy metal)|
|(1) Australian spent fuel has already been reprocessed and 53 drums of cemented raffinate waste is now held on their behalf. Due to an oversight, Australia was not included in a previous answer given on 1 February 2006, Official Report, column 552W|
(2) Material received in Dounreay from Georgia will remain in the UK for international security reasons.
(3) Spanish spent fuel has already been reprocessed and the quantity of waste arising was so small (less than one thousandth of a drum of cemented raffinate waste) that it was agreed to retain in the UK. A further batch of spent fuel has also been received from Spain but was sent on, still in the form of spent fuel, to a third overseas party.
It is not possible to give current radioactivity levels for the material in the table above as the levels on receipt would be considerably different from those today. To attempt to calculate notional radioactivity levels from the above weights could give an erroneous result.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the likely effects of the EU red impact project on partitioning, transmutation and waste reduction, on the long-term management of radioactivity in the UK. 
Mr. Kidney: In making recommendations to Government on the long-term management of higher activity radioactive waste in 2006, the independent Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) stated that there was
"no proof of concept for partitioning and transmutation and that the cost would be disproportionate to benefits derived".
Government accepted CoRWM's primary recommendations that geological disposal coupled with safe and secure interim storage was the best way forward and set out its framework for implementing geological disposal in the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely White Paper in June 2008.
While Government policy is to pursue geological disposal, the White Paper recognised the need to take account of developments in storage and disposal options, as well as possible new technologies and solutions. The White Paper also set out that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority will keep developments under review and this will include the outputs from the EU Red Impact project in which they have been involved.
Mr. Kidney: The Government Impact Assessment (IA), which accompanied the final Offshore Transmission Consultation Document in March 2009, estimated the total cost to DECC and Ofgem in the four years of developing the new offshore transmission regime to be £3.4 million. This included internal staff, technical, legal and economic costs and the costs of consultancy. It covered the development of proposals, drafting instructions for modifications to codes and licences, and including provisions in the Energy Act 2008. The IA also showed the estimated net benefit of the new regime to be £925 million and is available at:
National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET), in its role as GB System Operator Designate, incurred costs of £1.563 million in helping to develop the regime. NGET's costs have been approved as economic and efficient by the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority.
Mr. Kidney: We have recently published our Renewable Energy Strategy for the UK (available in the Library or on the DECC website) setting out the policies and actions we will take to deliver 15 per cent. of our energy from renewable sources by 2020. This will form the basis for the National Action Plan to be submitted to the EU Commission by summer 2010.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent assessment he has made of the effects of the economic downturn on levels of finance available for the development of renewable energy. 
Mr. Kidney: DECC is in regular contact with the renewables industry and finance community to assess the impact of the downturn on the development and deployment of renewable energy technologies. There are credit constraints in the venture capital markets supporting new technology development and demonstration and similar pressures in funding the deployment of small and medium-sized technologies such as onshore wind. We are working closely with the renewables industry and banks to address the challenges which developers face in accessing finance.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what projects the Renewables Deployment Office (a) has undertaken since its establishment and (b) plans to undertake. 
Mr. Kidney: The Office for Renewable Energy Deployment (ORED) was launched on 15 July 2009. ORED's mission is to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy in order to reduce carbon emissions, increase security of supply and create business opportunities in the UK.
Putting in place appropriate financial incentives to support the take-up of renewable energy, including reform of the Renewables Obligation; introducing Feed-in-Tariffs for small-scale electricity; and a new Renewable Heat Incentive;
Overcoming the non-financial barriers to the deployment of wind and other technologies, including supporting reforms to ensure an effective planning system is in place at a local and regional level;
Promoting the use of sustainable bio-energy;
Supporting the cost-effective deployment of wave and tidal technologies, including taking forward the feasibility study on Severn Tidal Power;
Overcoming supply chain blockages and promoting business opportunities in the renewable sector in the UK.
This work involves engaging with a wide range of external stakeholders. To assist with this, the office is recruiting a part-time, non-executive expert chair to liaise with industry and other stakeholders, and help build a strong reputation for ORED as a delivery body.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether his Department plans to make a submission to the Scottish Executive's National Conversation consultation on Scotland's constitutional future. 
The Commission on Scottish Devolution was established by majority vote in the Scottish Parliament and with the full support of the UK Government. UK Departments submitted evidence to the Commission during its first phase of evidence gathering. This included evidence prepared by DECC.
A Steering Group has been established under the Chairmanship of the Secretary of State for Scotland to help the UK Government and the Scottish Parliament plan how to take forward the Calman recommendations and deliver stronger devolution within a stronger United Kingdom.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether the Health and Safety Executive's Nuclear Directorate has received a report from Sellafield Limited on the contamination event which took place on 20 June 2008 at the Sellafield site. 
Mr. Kidney: I can confirm that the Health and Safety Executive's Nuclear Directorate has received such a report from Sellafield Limited, and that it is satisfied that a thorough investigation has been carried out by the company.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when the Health and Safety Executive's Nuclear Directorate wrote to Sellafield Limited requesting a revised statement of strategy for the future safe storage of highly active liquor; whether a reply has been received; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kidney: I can confirm that such a letter was written on 11 February 2008. Sellafield Limited's responses have formed part of its biennial submissions to HSE's Nuclear Directorate both last year and this year. A summary of the Nuclear Directorate's initial assessment was reported to the West Cumbria Site Stakeholder Group earlier this year, and the Nuclear Directorate will continue to report progress to that group, and post these reports on HSE's website.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will place in the Library a copy of specification 679 issued by the Health and Safety Executive's Nuclear Directorate in relation to the holding of highly active liquor at Sellafield. 
Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) pursuant to the answer of 23 March 2009, Official Report, column 86W, on industrial health and safety: Sellafield, on what dates Nuclear Installation Inspectorate specifications numbers 324, 325 and 326 were issued; 
Part (a) by 1 August 2004 (completed).
Part (b) by 1 August 2004 (completed).
Part (c) by 1 August 2010
Part (d) by 1 August 2016.
Part (a) by 1 August 2009;.
Part (b) by 1 August 2010.
Part (a) by 1 August 2020.
Part (b) by 1 August 2020.
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