§ Mr. Deakins
asked the Prime Minister what are the economics of reprocessing spent nuclear fuel in the United Kingdom; and what would be the impact on the civil and military nuclear programmes if such reprocessing were stopped.
§ The Prime Minister
The only thermal reactor fuel currently being reprocessed in the United Kingdom is that from Magnox power stations. Since none of the stations,236W except Wylfa, has stores capable of holding the fuel for more than a limited period, reprocessing is a technical necessity. Cessation would entail closing the Magnox power stations, with very significant costs to the electricity consumer. As far as oxide fuel is concerned, the timing of and commitment to reprocessing through the proposed THORP facility at Sellafield is a commercial matter for the CEGB and the SSEB.
Spent fuel from CEGB and SSEB reactors is not reprocessed for the defence programme.