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Government smuggles out statement on future of NIREX - Baker

July 21, 2004 12:00 AM

The future of NIREX (the body charged with the long-term disposal of nuclear waste) has been set out in an obscure Government statement - one of 45 written statements released today.

The statement comes the day after the Energy Bill completed its passage in the House of Commons. Despite containing important provisions relating to nuclear waste, NIREX does not feature in the Bill at all.

Commenting, Norman Baker MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment Secretary, said:

"This is a crucial issue for both the environment and the taxpayer. The Government is treating Parliament in contempt by releasing information on NIREX in this way.

"I continually challenged Ministers throughout the passage of the Energy Bill on this issue, but they sneakily waited until it was too late before slipping this statement out.

"I am pleased that the Government has confirmed that NIREX will be independent of the new Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. But there is still no clarity on where the dividing line between these two bodies will be."