Select Committee on European Union Thirty-Seventh Report


Letter from Jim Fitzpatrick MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry to the Chairman

  Thank you for your letter of 5 July, enclosing copies of the European Select Committee report Managing Nuclear Safety and Waste: the Role of the EU. I am replying on behalf of Malcolm Wicks in my capacity as Duty Minister.

  Malcolm would like to thank the Committee members for the enthusiasm and dedication with which they approached this inquiry and their rigorous examination of evidence from a vast range of national and international experts in the field of nuclear safety and waste.

  The report clearly validates the approach that the Government has taken to the adoption of the nuclear package. At the same time it offers some very helpful messages about the recommendations that should flow from the Action Plan that is due to report at the end of the Finnish Presidency. We shall keep these clearly in mind in taking forward discussions with EU colleagues and the Commission.

  The Committee's comments on the long-term management of higher-level radioactive wastes are, of course, particularly pertinent in light of the recent publication of CoRWM's final recommendations. The Government will take the Committee's views into account in developing its policies in this area.

  The report also provides some high level messages about the management of findings from the IAEA's peer review processes that we are interested in pursuing within an EU context. Indeed, early indications from the Working Party on Nuclear Safety suggest that there is further work to be done around getting the best possible outcomes from the peer review process.

  Thank you again for a comprehensive and interesting report that provides important insights into the challenges that face us in this sensitive policy area.

29 August 2006

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