Select Committee on Trade and Industry Annxes to the Report

Follow-up Questions


It would be helpful to have a note on the latest position as regards the supply of molybdenum 99/technetium 99, and the actions taken by HMG to ensure continuing supply, including any use of HEU in the ownership of the Ministry of Defence

  We understand from the Department of Health that to date sufficient supplies of these radioisotopes have been maintained, and that it has no current concern over the supply of these isotopes for medical purposes. We understand the US have agreed to make additional HEU available which should secure the manufacture of these isotopes over the next five years. In the UK, UKAEA is still progressing with plans at Dounreay to bring the facility to manufacture HEU targets back online.


An update of the current structure of DCNSy would be of assistance

  The Government has implemented the recommendation of the Committee that the Directorate of Civil Nuclear Security should be separated from the UKAEA in order to re-establish on a basis visibly independent from the civil nuclear security industry. Following a review of all the options it was decided that transferring the Directorate into the Department of Trade and Industry with a distinct identity and operational independence within the Department was the best way of ensuring its independent and effective operation. The transfer took place on 1 October 2000. To coincide with this, and to reflect the change of status, the Directorate was renamed the Office for Civil Nuclear Security. Mrs Liddell wrote to the Committee about these changes in more detail on 25 September 2000.

Dounreay: Progress Report, Fifth Report of 1999-2000, HC 281: Government Response, Sixth Special Report, HC 483

  1.  Following its Ninth Report, of July 1998, the Committee paid a further visit to Dounreay in November 1999 and heard formal oral evidence. Having gathered written evidence, it published a Report in March 2000.

  2.  The Committee's Report followed up a number of points arising from the HSE Safety Audit and UKAEA's Response to it, covering areas such as the use of contractors, safety culture and emergency arrangements, and the discount rate used in appraising the cost of decommissioning projects.

  3.  The Reply was received in May 2000, agreeing with most of the conclusions. It noted that decisions were still awaited on several issues, in particular the future disposal of used fuel and the proposed vitrification plant. The full integrated decommissioning plan was published in September 2000.

  4.  The Committee now receives copies of the two-monthly progress report on implementation of the Dounreay Action Plan, originally prepared for Ministers, and is committed to continue monitoring the situation.

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