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Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: As I told the noble Lord on 12 January (WA 123-4), no such undertakings have been given.

Anti-ballistic Missile Accords

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Interpretation of these accords is a matter for the states concerned.

17 Jul 1998 : Column WA64

Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee

Lord Graham of Edmonton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will announce the conclusions of the Financial Management and Policy Review of the Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee.[HL2852]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Baroness Hayman): We have today published the report of the steering committee guiding the Financial Management and Policy Review of the Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee (RWMAC). Copies of the report, which was completed in March 1997, including a list of those who responded to the consultation exercise, have been placed in the Library of the House.

The conclusion of the prior options stage of the review were announced by the previous Government on 28 November 1996. This was that RWMAC should continue to operate for at least the next five years. It was also announced at that time that the steering committee would go on to consider the structure and operation of RWMAC. The report being published today sets out the considerations leading to the decision that RWMAC should continue, and the steering committee's proposals for modifying the structure and operation of the committee to suit current requirements.

The Government welcome the majority of the steering committee's recommendations but have given further consideration to two of the recommendations; the membership template and the deletion of "civil" from RWMAC's terms of reference to reflect its practice, now well established under invitation, of also considering the management of radioactive waste from defence establishments.

The membership template has been amended to place a greater emphasis on environmental and societal perspectives and lay perspectives. The new membership template printed below will become an attachment to all copies of the steering committee's report.

Consideration of the proposed amendment to RWMAC's terms of reference will be deferred until the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology has reported on nuclear waste management.

We along with my right honourable friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Wales have accepted all the other recommendations made by the steering committee.

RWMAC Membership Template

SpecialismIndicative organisation(s) from which members drawnProposed Number
Nuclear and radioactive waste managementIndustry, consultancies, overseas operator4
Geology, hydrogeology, geochemistry, chemical modellingUniversity, research institute or private sector4
Industrial waste management, pollution controlNon-nuclear industry1
Radiological protectionNRPB1
Environmental health/medical healthMedical Research Council, university, medical research, charity or hospital health physicist2
Local government/planningLocal authorities, NGOs1
Environmental and societal perspectivesEnvironmental NGOs and associated individuals, relevant university disciplines3
Health and safetyTrades unions, regulators1
Environmental lawAcademia and private practice1
Lay interestsVarious1
Total 19

17 Jul 1998 : Column WA65



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