§ Mr. Porter
asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has completed his review of the arrangements for the enrichment of uranium for defence purposes at British Nuclear Fuels Ltd., Capenhurst; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Nott
Yes. As a result of a careful review it has been decided to modify the plan to obtain part of the highly enriched uranium requirement for defence purposes by production of HEU at Capenhurst and part by procurement of HEU from the United States. The new proposals provide for the total requirement to be met by the enrichment of natural uranium to intermediate level at Capenhurst, the United States involvement being restricted to final enrichment to the level required for defence purposes.
As under the original plans, and to the same time scale, a new dedicated plant will be required at Capenhurst. This will be entirely separate from the facilities used for the production of enriched uranium for civil purposes. The modified proposals as a whole are more economic in terms of both national and defence resources than the original 129W plan. Moreover they offer BNFL a higher proportion of the work, avoid the need for the additional redundancies forecast by BNFL in October 1981 and enhance employment prospects at BNFL and in the region.