§ Mr. Corbyn
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what plans his Department, or bodies sponsored by his Department such as the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority or British Nuclear Fuels Ltd., have to develop laser isotope separation technology (a) for uranium enrichment and (b) for plutonium purification with other member states of the European Community.
§ Mr. Goodlad
British Nuclear Fuels plc, as a partner in the United Kingdom, German, Dutch collaboration, URENCO, is committed to the supply of uranium enrichment services to the United Kingdom nuclear industry and to overseas customers. To this end URENCO is continuing to develop the considerable commercial potential of the gas centrifuge enrichment method which it believes will retain an economic advantage over laser technology until at least the turn of the century. UKAEA and BNFL are doing some work on laser enrichment in order to keep abreast of the technology.
No bodies sponsored by my Department are working on the purification of plutonium through laser isotope separation.