Parliament 2010-06-23

23 June 2010 : Column 249W

Radioactive Waste: Waste Management

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much has been spent on research and development for long-term nuclear waste management, site radiological remediation and facility decommissioning through (a) the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, (b) NIREX, (c) the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management and (d) British Nuclear Fuels Ltd in the last 10 years. [2343]

Charles Hendry: The information is as follows:

(a) The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is responsible for the decommissioning and clean-up of the UK's civil public sector nuclear sites and directly commissions research in support of this mission. Since it was set up in 2005, annual research and development (R and D) expenditure has been approximately:


Spend (£ million)

2005-06

11

2006-07

13

2007-08

18

2008-09

11

2009-10

11


NDA figures do not include indirect R and D expenditure by NDA's contractors carried out in support of its mission across the NDA's estate. For example, that work carried out by the site licence companies who manage nuclear licensed sites on the NDA's behalf. Site license company expenditure on R and D for 2008-09 is estimated to be in the order of £90 million.

(b) Prior to being incorporated into the NDA on 31 March 2007, the role of United Kingdom Nirex Ltd was to examine aspects of long-term management and disposal of radioactive waste. Up until that point, Nirex's research and development expenditure over the last decade had been approximately:


Spend (£ million)

1999-2000

5

2000-01

6

2001-02

8

2002-03

8

2003-04

7

2004-05

7

2005-06

7

2006-07

9


(c) CoRWM's role was initially to advise Government on the best options for the long-term management of higher activity radioactive waste and its remit now is to provide independent scrutiny and advice on the long-term management, including storage and disposal, of radioactive waste. As such it does not undertake specific research and development. Further information about the Committee, including costs, is available from its website at:

(d) British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL) is a private company owned by UK Government which previously operated a number of nuclear sites and businesses with operations in the UK and oversees. The decommissioning 
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assets and liabilities previously owned by BNFL were transferred to the NDA with its creation in 2005. It sold its main American business, Westinghouse in 2006 for $5.4 billion, and dismantled its UK clean-up subsidiary, British Nuclear Group, over the period 2006-2009. BNFL has no remaining operational activities or businesses but its approximate research and development expenditure up until 2007 is set out as follows:


Spend (£ million)

1999

81

2000

96

2001

92

2002

113

2003

109

2004

98

2005

92

2006

41

2007

7