§ Mr. Lester
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will publish a table of figures for plutonium production.
§ Mr. Giles Shaw
The following table sets out the allocation or use of plutonium produced in the magnox reactors of the SSEB an CEGB at 31 March 1983:
Allocation of Plutonium produced in CEGB or SSEB Magnox reactors. Position at 31 March 1983 Tonnes (Nearest½tonne) Plutonium in irradiated fuel (a) Estimated in fuel in CEGB/SSEB Magnox reactors 9 (b) Estimated plutonium in fuel discharged from CEGB/SSEB Magnox reactors, but not yet reprocessed 3½ Separated plutonium (c) In stock at British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. as oxide 17 (d) In process at British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. in intermediate other forms (eg nitrate) ½ (e) Sold or leased to UKAEA for Fast Reactor R&D since 1969 5 (f) Exported for civil purposes to countries other than the US ½ Sub total 35½ (g) Balance (see note (g) below)
(a) These figures are derived from the known tonnage of fuel elements and their estimated overall average irradiation and cannot be accurately calculated.
(b) As for (a). About 30 per cent. of amount shown was held by BNFL.
(e) About 20 per cent. of amount shown was held by BNFL. The reduction of ½ tonne from the previous answer results from the return of a small quantity of material now included in Item (c).
(g) The balance of plutonium produced in the boards' magnox reactors was consigned to the United States before 1971 under the United States/United Kingdom defence agreement, and as stated by the Prime Minister, on 21 April 1964, was used by United States for civil purposes. Because of the barter arrangements under which this plutonium was consigned, it would not be in the national interest to publish this figure.