§ Mr. Robin Cook
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list all those establishments which were licensed to handle plutonium in each year since 1956; if he will describe the procedures by which establishments receive a licence to handle plutonium and list those establishments for which applications for new or renewed licences are pending and, for each establishment, indicate the owners and operators of each establishment and site during each year it has been so licensed.
§ Mr. Goodlad
The Health and Safety Executive does not issue licences for the specific purpose of handling plutonium. However, BNFL's Sellafield and Springfields sites are licensed, inter alia, to handle plutonium. Licences are issued in accordance with section 1(1) of the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate Act 1965. In addition, any person, other than the Crown or the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority requires a permit to carry out the treatment of irradiated nuclear fuel so as to extract therefrom plutonium. Such permits are granted by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority or a Government Department, and are required in addition to a current nuclear site licence. British Nuclear Fuels plc has held a permit in respect of its site at Sellafield since 1971.
The function and powers of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority to deal with all kinds of radioactive substances including plutonium, are given in the Atomic Energy Authority Act 1954 and related legislation.
§ Mr. Chris Smith
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury of 14 February, Official Report, column 566, he will indicate (a) to which organisations the plutonium exported to France in the years stated in his reply was transferred, (b) whether the plutonium was loaned or sold, or exchanged for an equivalent quantity of nuclear material, (c) under whose ownership this plutonium now resides, (d) whether any of the exported plutonium has since been reimported in any form, (e) whether the plutonium was processed or manufactured in any way whilst in France, (f) whether one export licence for such materials covers more than one contract or more than one load and (g) what other nuclear materials have been exported, and in which years; in relation to (g), which materials were involved, and in what chemical arid physical form they were when exported in each year; arid which of these exports were subject to an export licence.