PN131004STSel

WEDNESDAY 13 OCTOBER 2004

LORDS COMMITTEE TO QUESTION MINISTER OVER RADIOACTIVE WASTE

On Monday 18 October, the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology will question Elliot Morley, the Defra minister responsible for radioactive waste management.

Also giving evidence will be Gordon MacKerron, Chair of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM), an independent body appointed by Government to recommend a long-term solution for managing radioactive waste in the UK.

Location: Committee Room 3, Palace of Westminster

Date: Monday 18th October

Time:

3.30pm - Gordon MacKerron, Chair of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM)

4.15pm - Elliot Morley, the Defra minister responsible for radioactive waste management

(Please call 020 7219 8659 on the day to confirm details.)

THE ISSUES:

There is currently no long-term management strategy to deal with high and intermediate level radioactive waste, most of which is held in temporary storage facilities at Sellafield.

In a 1999 report, 'Management of Nuclear Waste', the Select Committee recommended that the Government act without delay to develop a comprehensive and permanent solution to the problem of radioactive waste management, concluding that long-term disposal underground was the best option.

However, the earliest that CoRWM will report to ministers is July 2006, and even after that it could take 20 years or more of detailed work and consultation before any solution can be implemented. Members of the Select Committee will ask why the process is taking so long, and examine how CoRWM is going about its task.

[ENDS]