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Mr. Key : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish a table showing teacher vacancies by region in January 1989, distinguishing between vacancies in (a) nursery and primary schools and (b) secondary schools.

Mr. Butcher : Full information on the number of teacher vacancies in maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools in England in January 1989 is not yet available. Figures for those regions where the data are complete are as follows :

                         |Nursery and primary|Secondary schools                      



North                    |92                 |62                                     

Yorkshire and Humberside |200                |155                                    

North West               |307                |219                                    

East Midlands            |145                |145                                    

West Midlands            |222                |262                                    

East Anglia              |47                 |59                                     

Greater London           |n/y/a              |n/y/a                                  

Other South East         |617                |542                                    

South West               |181                |161                                    

n/y/a=Not yet available.                                                             

Ms. Armstrong : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) how many teachers have resigned during the academic year 1988- 89 ;

(2) what steps he takes to monitor the number of resignations of teachers.

Mr. Butcher : Information on the number of teachers resigning during the academic year 1988-89 is not yet available.

Detailed annual returns of teachers in service are made by local education authorities at 31 March, together with information on those entering and leaving service during the previous year. The returns from some authorities are subject to considerable delay, and the most recent period for which complete data are available is the year ending March 1987. The number of teachers leaving full-time service in the maintained nursery, primary and secondary sector in England in that year was 28,960, of which 2,840 were aged 60 or over. Following a recent report by the management consultants Logica, a number of proposals are being pursued to improve the flow of teacher information to the Department. These include measures to improve the timeliness of the annual returns and the completeness of termly appointment and withdrawal notifications.

Training Grants Scheme

Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he intends to introduce legislation to amend the Education Acts to bring all unpaid workers in voluntary organisations within the scope of the training grants scheme.

Mrs. Rumbold : All aspects of the scheme are under regular review.

Design and Technology

Mr. Ken Hargreaves : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects his proposals for attainment targets and programmes of study in design and technology 5 to 16 to be published for consultation.

Column 85

Mr. Kenneth Baker : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales and I have now formulated our proposals for attainment targets and programmes of study for design and technology for pupils aged five to 16 in the light of the report from the national curriculum design and technology working group. We are very grateful to the working group for its prompt and helpful report.

I have today referred our proposals to the National Curriculum Council to start the consultations in England required by the Education Reform Act. My right hon. Friend will be initiating consultations as required by the Act in Wales. I have asked the council to report to me on the outcome of the consultations, with advice and recommendations, by 3 November 1989. I have placed a copy of our proposals and of the working group's report, with my letter to the council, in the Library.


Planning Applications

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many planning appeals were lodged with his office in 1974, 1979, 1984 and the latest full year for which figures are available ; and, for each year, how many were allowed.

Mr. Grist : The information is shown in the following table :

Section 36 planning appeals     

Year    |Lodged |Allowed        


1974    |676    |127            

1979    |844    |164            

1984    |806    |229            

1988    |1,133  |325            

Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales on how many occasions during the past five years he has called in planning decisions for a final decision.

Mr. Grist : My right hon. Friend and his predecessor have, since June 1984, called in for their own determination 17 applications for planning permission.

Preventive Medicine

Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what measures he has taken to promote the cause of preventive medicine in Wales, in particular in relation to the high incidence of heart disease in the Principality.

Mr. Grist : The promotion of good health and the prevention of ill health has been one of the Government's major priorities for the health services in Wales for some years. Within the drive for better health we established the Welsh Health Promotion Authority in 1987 to have specific responsibility for the subject, including the operation of the Welsh heart programme--"Heartbeat Wales". This was to augment the work already being carried out by district health authorities and primary care services. Their priorities in relation to health promotion, which include action to combat heart disease, were set out in the corporate management programme for the Health Service in Wales, issued by the Department last year.

Column 86

Compact Schemes

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the companies taking part in compact schemes with schools in Wales.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : Many schools in Wales have links with business and industry, some of which may be along the lines of a compact, but information is not held centrally on which companies are involved.

Community Hospitals

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the number and location of community hospitals which have been built or adapted in Clwyd and Gwynedd since 1974.

Mr. Grist : The information requested is as follows :


Chirk Community Hospital

Colwyn Bay Hospital

Denbigh Community Hospital

Mold Community Hospital

Prestatyn Community Hospital

Royal Alexandra Hospital, Rhyl

Ruthin Community Hospital


Bryn beryl Hospital, Pwllheli

Dolgellau Hospital

Tywyn Hospital

Training and Enterprise Councils

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish a list of those companies in Gwynedd which have been invited to participate in training and enterprise councils.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : Copies of the TEC prospectus have been sent to all employers with a work force of 20 or more. I understand that a number of different interest groups have started discussions about TECs in Gwynedd but no bid has yet been received.

Public Bodies

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish the names of people from Gwynedd whom he has appointed to public and statutory bodies since June 1987.

Mr. Peter Walker : We do not collect information on where public appointees come from, but as an example the hon. Gentleman may know that the current chairman of the Welsh Development Agency came from Gwynedd.

Population Statistics

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what are his Department's estimates for the numbers of people aged 65 to 74 years, 75 to 79 years and over 80 years in the years 2000 and 2020 in Wales ; and what percentage increase this represents in each category over the actual figures for the last year in which they are available.

Mr. Peter Walker : Current estimates and the most recent projected figures for the age groups requested are shown in the following table :

Column 87

Elderly Population of Wales                                                                                                                                                           




                                                     Year 2020                                           Year 2020                                                                    

Ages                      |1988 mid-year estimate<1>|Number                   |Percentage change        |Number                   |Percentage change                                  

                                                                              |1988-2000                                          |1988-2020                                          


65-74                     |271.7                    |260                      |-4.3                     |317                      |+16.8                                              

75-79                     |96.6                     |108                      |+11.9                    |111                      |+14.6                                              

80 and over               |102.3                    |127                      |+24.4                    |144                      |+41.0                                              

<1>Office of Population Censuses and Surveys.                                                                                                                                         

<2>Government Actuary's Department 1987 based population projection.                                                                                                                  

Supermarket, Holyhead

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he expects to be able to publish the results of the application for assistance under the urban development programme in respect of a supermarket development at Holyhead.

Mr. Grist : Applications for urban investment grant are treated in confidence. An application for urban investment grant support towards development at Holyhead has not been made to the Department. Decisions on full appraisal of UIG grant applications are made within 10 weeks of all the appropriate information being received by the Welsh Office.


Fishing Industry

Mr. Steen : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will now provide the information required by the European Commission for the multi-annual guidance programme, in order to unlock the grants approved for construction of new beam trawlers and other fishing vessels.

Mr. Donald Thompson : The Commission will continue to suspend construction aid for United Kingdom fishing vessels until we can demonstrate sufficient progress towards meeting our programme targets. We are currently considering with the industry various options for reducing fleet capacity.

Food Irradiation

Sir Richard Body : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, what research has been undertaken into the effect of food irradiation on the nutritional content of food ; and with what results.

Mr. Ryder : I refer my hon. Friend to the report on the safety and wholesomeness of irradiated foods by the Advisory Committee on Irradiated and Novel Foods published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office in 1986, a copy of which is in the Library of the House. Chapter 7 and appendix E refer.


Book Publishing

Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what estimates he has of the proportion of the United Kingdom- based book publishing industry which is American owned.

Column 88

Mr. Atkins : There are a number of measures of publishers' output, none of which is readily available by the nationality of the publisher. The information necessary to make an estimate could be assembled only at disproportionate cost and would be subject to qualifications.

Merger Policy

Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what progress has been made in the Council of Ministers in relation to the proposed directive on merger policy ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Maude : The proposed EC merger control regulation was most recently discussed in the Council of Ministers on 3 May and there was a brief follow-up discussion at the June Council. It was concluded that further consideration was needed, particularly of thresholds, criteria and the relationship of a regulation to articles 85 and 86 (EEC).


Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether an application has been made for a manufacturing patent for a weapon described as Frag-12.

Mr. Forth : An application for a patent for Frag-12 has been made, but the application has not yet been published.

EC Technical Committees

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list the technical committees of the European standardisation committee, indicating in each case the country of the European Economic Community that provides the secretariat, and also the number of technical committee secretariats held by each country of the European Economic Community.

Mr. Forth : The latest information available is as follows :

List of CEN technical committees as at 2 May 1989            



Total number of CEN technical committees (TCs) |138          



West Germany (DIN)                             |51           

United Kingdom (BSI)                           |29           

France (AFNOR)                                 |24           

Italy (UNI)                                    |8            

Denmark (DS)                                   |7            

Belgium (IBN)                                  |7            

Netherlands (NNI)                              |4            

Sweden (SIS)                                   |3            

Austria (ON)                                   |1            

Portugal (IPQ)                                 |1            

Norway (NSF)                                   |1            

Ireland (NSAI)                                 |1            

To be allocated (TBA)                          |1            

CEN/TC                                                     |Title                                                     |Secretariat                                                                                                          


ADHOC-WG                                                   |Acoustics                                                 |DS                                                                                                                   

TC10                                                       |Passenger, goods and service lifts                        |AFNOR                                                                                                                

TC12<1>                                                    |Hoses and hose couplings for                              |AFNOR                                                                                                                

                                                           |  petroleum products, equipment                                                                                                                                                 

                                                           |  for petroleum industry                                                                                                                                                        

TC15                                                       |Inland navigation equipment                               |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC19                                                       |Test methods and specifications for                       |NNI                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  petroleum products                                                                                                                                                            

TC33                                                       |Doors, Windows, shutters and                              |AFNOR                                                                                                                

                                                           |  building hardware                                                                                                                                                             

TC38                                                       |Durability of wood and related                            |AFNOR                                                                                                                

                                                           |  materials                                                                                                                                                                     

TC43                                                       |Office furniture                                          |AFNOR                                                                                                                

TC44                                                       |Household refrigerating appliances                        |UNI                                                                                                                  

TC46<1>                                                    |Oil Stoves                                                |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC47                                                       |Atomizing oil burners and their                           |DIN                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  components-function-safety-                                                                                                                                                   

                                                           |  testing                                                                                                                                                                       

TC48                                                       |Domestic gas-fired water heaters etc.                     |AFNOR                                                                                                                

TC49                                                       |Gas cooking appliances                                    |AFNOR                                                                                                                

TC50                                                       |Lighting columns and spigots                              |BSI                                                                                                                  

TC51                                                       |Cement and building limes                                 |IBN                                                                                                                  

TC52                                                       |Safety of toys                                            |DS                                                                                                                   

TC53                                                       |Scaffolds, falsework and mobile                           |DIN                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  access towers                                                                                                                                                                 

TC54                                                       |Simple unfired pressure vessels                           |BSI                                                                                                                  

TC55                                                       |Dental products                                           |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC57                                                       |Central heating boilers                                   |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC58                                                       |Safety and control devices for gas                        |BSI                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  burners etc.                                                                                                                                                                  

TC62                                                       |Independent gas fired space heaters                       |BSI                                                                                                                  

TC63<1>                                                    |Packages for washing and cleaning                         |DIN                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  powders                                                                                                                                                                       

TC65                                                       |Portable grinding machines-                               |DIN                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  mechanical safety                                                                                                                                                             

TC66<1>                                                    |Tests on glass fibre reinforced                           |IPQ                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  plastics                                                                                                                                                                      

TC67                                                       |Ceramic tiles                                             |UNI                                                                                                                  

TC68                                                       |Building hoists for passenger and/or                      |AFNOR                                                                                                                

                                                           |  materials                                                                                                                                                                     

TC70                                                       |Portable fire extinguishers                               |IBN                                                                                                                  

TC72                                                       |Automatic fire detection systems                          |BSI                                                                                                                  

TC74<1>                                                    |Flanges                                                   |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC78<1>                                                    |Capacities of glass jars for preserved                    |DIN                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  fruit, vegetables and similar products                                                                                                                                        

TC79                                                       |Respiratory protective devices and                        |DIN                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  diving apparatus                                                                                                                                                              

TC81<1>                                                    |Capacities of metal cans for fruit,                       |DIN                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  vegetables and similar products                                                                                                                                               

TC85                                                       |Eye protective equipment                                  |AFNOR                                                                                                                

TC87<1>                                                    |Gas fuelled smokers' lighters                             |AFNOR                                                                                                                

TC88                                                       |Thermal insulating materials and                          |DIN                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  products                                                                                                                                                                      

TC89                                                       |Thermal performance of buildings                          |SIS                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  and building components                                                                                                                                                       

TC92                                                       |Cold water meters                                         |AFNOR                                                                                                                

TC93                                                       |Ladders                                                   |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC94                                                       |Ready-mixed concrete production and delivery              |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC95                                                       |Technical safety requirements for                         |DIN                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  the construction of injection                                                                                                                                                 

                                                           |  moulding machines for plastics                                                                                                                                                

                                                           |  and rubber                                                                                                                                                                    

TC98                                                       |Mobile elevating work platforms                           |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC99                                                       |Wallcoverings                                             |BSI                                                                                                                  

TC100                                                      |Tactile danger warnings on                                |DS                                                                                                                   

                                                           |  packaging                                                                                                                                                                     

TC101                                                      |Steel drums                                               |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC102                                                      |Sterilizers for medical purposes                          |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC103                                                      |Adhesives for wood and derived                            |BSI                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  timber products                                                                                                                                                               

TC104                                                      |Concrete (performance production,                         |DIN                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  placing and compliance criteria)                                                                                                                                              

TC105                                                      |Valves and fittings to equip                              |DS                                                                                                                   

                                                           |  radiators                                                                                                                                                                     

TC106                                                      |Large kitchen appliances using                            |AFNOR                                                                                                                

                                                           |  gaseous fuels                                                                                                                                                                 

TC107                                                      |Pre-fabricated district heating pipe                      |DS                                                                                                                   

                                                           |  systems                                                                                                                                                                       

TC108                                                      |Homogeneous elastomers for static                         |NNI                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  seals                                                                                                                                                                         

TC109                                                      |Gas-fired central heating boilers                         |IBN                                                                                                                  

TC110                                                      |Heat exchangers                                           |SIS                                                                                                                  

TC111                                                      |Propellants for commercial                                |IBH                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  ammunition                                                                                                                                                                    

TC112                                                      |Wood based panels                                         |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC113                                                      |Heat pumps and room air                                   |DIN                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  conditioning units                                                                                                                                                            

TC114                                                      |Safety of machines                                        |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC115                                                      |European first aid box                                    |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC116                                                      |Bitumen sheeting                                          |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC117                                                      |Plastic and rubber sheeting for                           |IBN                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  roofing and sealing                                                                                                                                                           

TC118                                                      |Technical safety requirements for                         |BSI                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  compression moulding machines                                                                                                                                                 

                                                           |  for plastics and rubber                                                                                                                                                       

TC119                                                      |Swap bodies for combined goods                            |DIN                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  transport road/rail                                                                                                                                                           

TC120                                                      |Sacks for food transport                                  |AFNOR                                                                                                                

TC121                                                      |Welding                                                   |DS                                                                                                                   

TC122                                                      |Ergonomics                                                |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC123                                                      |Lasers and laser related equipment                        |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC124                                                      |Timber structures                                         |DS                                                                                                                   

TC125                                                      |Masonry                                                   |BSI                                                                                                                  

TC126                                                      |Acoustics properties of building products and of buildings|AFNOR                                                                                                                

TC127                                                      |Fire safety in buildings                                  |BSI                                                                                                                  

TC128                                                      |Roof covering products for discontinuous laying           |ON                                                                                                                   

TC129                                                      |Glass in building                                         |IBN                                                                                                                  

TC130                                                      |Space heating appliances without                          |UNI                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  integral heat sources                                                                                                                                                         

TC131                                                      |Gas burners using fans                                    |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC132                                                      |Aluminium and aluminium alloys                            |AFNOR                                                                                                                

TC133                                                      |Copper and copper alloys                                  |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC134                                                      |Resilient and textile floor coverings                     |BSI                                                                                                                  

TC135                                                      |Steel structures                                          |NSF                                                                                                                  

TC136                                                      |Sports, playground and other                              |DIN                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  recreational equipment                                                                                                                                                        

TC137                                                      |Assessment of workplace exposure                          |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC138                                                      |Non-destructive testing                                   |AFNOR                                                                                                                

TC139                                                      |Paints and varnishes                                      |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC140                                                      |In vitro diagnostic systems                               |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC141                                                      |Industrial indicator pressure gauges                      |AFNOR                                                                                                                

TC142                                                      |Wood working machines-Safety                              |BSI                                                                                                                  

TC143                                                      |Cold metal working machines-                              |UNI                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  Safety                                                                                                                                                                        

TC144                                                      |Agricultural and forestry machines-                       |AFNOR                                                                                                                

                                                           |  Safety                                                                                                                                                                        

TC145                                                      |Rubber and plastics machines-                             |DIN                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  Safety                                                                                                                                                                        

TC146                                                      |Packaging machines-Safety                                 |UNI                                                                                                                  

TC147                                                      |Cranes-Safety                                             |BSI                                                                                                                  

TC148                                                      |Continuous mechanical handling                            |AFNOR                                                                                                                

                                                           |  equipment-Safety                                                                                                                                                              

TC149                                                      |Rail dependent storage and retrieval equipment-Safety     |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC150                                                      |Industrial trucks-Safety                                  |BSI                                                                                                                  

TC151                                                      |Construction equipment and                                |DIN                                                                                                                  

  building material machines-                                                                                                                                                                                                               


TC152                                                      |Leisure and recreational machines/                        |BSI                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  equipment-Safety                                                                                                                                                              

TC153                                                      |Food industry machines-Safety                             |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC154                                                      |Aggregates                                                |BSI                                                                                                                  

TC155                                                      |Plastic pipes                                             |NNI                                                                                                                  

TC156                                                      |Ventilation systems for buildings                         |BSI                                                                                                                  

TC157                                                      |Non-refillable containers for                             |AFNOR                                                                                                                

                                                           |  liquefied petroleum gases                                                                                                                                                     

TC159                                                      |Hearing protection                                        |SIS                                                                                                                  

TC160                                                      |Protection against falls from height                      |DIN                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  including working belt                                                                                                                                                        

TC161                                                      |Foot and leg protection                                   |BSI                                                                                                                  

TC162                                                      |Protective clothing including hand                        |DIN                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  and arm protection and life-                                                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  jackets                                                                                                                                                                       

TC163                                                      |Sanitary appliances                                       |UNI                                                                                                                  

TC164                                                      |Water Supply                                              |AFNOR                                                                                                                

TC165                                                      |Drainage and sewerage                                     |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC166                                                      |Chimneys                                                  |UNI                                                                                                                  

TC167                                                      |Structural bearings                                       |UNI                                                                                                                  

TC168                                                      |Chains, ropes, webbing, slings and                        |BSI                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  accessories                                                                                                                                                                   

TC169                                                      |Lighting applications technology                          |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC170                                                      |Ophthalmic optics                                         |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC171                                                      |Heating cost instruments based on                         |DIN                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  consumption                                                                                                                                                                   

TC172                                                      |Paper, board and pulp                                     |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC173                                                      |Brushes                                                   |BSI                                                                                                                  

TC174                                                      |Fruit and vegetable juices-methods                        |AFNOR                                                                                                                

                                                           |  of analysis                                                                                                                                                                   

TC175                                                      |Sawn timber and sawnlogs                                  |AFNOR                                                                                                                

TC176                                                      |Heat energy meters                                        |DS                                                                                                                   

TC177                                                      |Prefabricated components of                               |DIN                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  reinforced aerated or non-fines                                                                                                                                               

                                                           |  light-weight concrete                                                                                                                                                         

TC178                                                      |Small paving units and kerbs                              |BSI                                                                                                                  

TC179                                                      |Gas-fired air heaters                                     |NNI                                                                                                                  

TC180                                                      |Gas-fired overhead radiant heaters                        |BSI                                                                                                                  

TC181                                                      |Dedicated liquefied petroleum gas                         |NSAI                                                                                                                 

                                                           |  appliances                                                                                                                                                                    

TC182                                                      |Refrigerating systems-safety and                          |DIN                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  environment                                                                                                                                                                   

TC183                                                      |Garbage containers                                        |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC184                                                      |High performance ceramics                                 |BSI                                                                                                                  

TC185                                                      |Threaded and non-threaded                                 |DIN                                                                                                                  

                                                           |  mechanical fasteners and                                                                                                                                                      

                                                           |  accessories                                                                                                                                                                   

TC186                                                      |Thermoprocessing technology                               |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC187                                                      |Refractory products and materials                         |BSI                                                                                                                  

TC188                                                      |Conveyor belting                                          |BSI                                                                                                                  

TC189                                                      |Geotextiles and related products                          |IBN                                                                                                                  

TC190                                                      |Foundry technology                                        |DIN                                                                                                                  

TC191                                                      |Fixed fire extinguishing systems                          |BSI                                                                                                                  

TC192                                                      |Fire brigade equipment                                    |BSI                                                                                                                  

TC193                                                      |Adhesives                                                 |AFNOR                                                                                                                

TC194                                                      |Culinary utensils                                         |BSI                                                                                                                  

TBA                                                        |Air filters for ventilation purposes                      |TBA                                                                                                                  

<1> Denotes dormant committee.                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Denotes dormant committee.

Cars (UK Content)

Mr. Marlow : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list those makes of car which are 50 per cent. or more United Kingdom value.

Mr. Atkins [holding answer 19 June 1989] : All cars manufactured in the United Kingdom by the volume producers have over 50 per cent. United Kingdom content by value. A list of specific models would serve little purpose, since in a number of cases the United Kingdom content of the same models sold here by the multinational producers (Ford, Vauxhall and Peugeot Talbot) will depend on whether they have been produced in this country or at the companies' plants elsewhere in Europe.

Column 92


Mr. David Atkinson : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will discuss with his consultative committee colleagues the immediate tightening of the rules that apply to China ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Chalker : I have been asked to reply.

The United Kingdom will be discussing with its partners in the Co- ordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Control (COCOM) the implications of events in China for the present export control policy in COCOM towards China.

Amendments to the COCOM control lists, which can be agreed only by consensus, are made on strategic rather than political grounds, following an assessment of the strategic threat posed by a given country to Western security. Decisions in COCOM, including any relating to China, will be based on this criterion.


AGR Fuel Rods

Mr. Alan W. Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how many spent AGR fuel rods have been reprocessed at Sellafield to date ; and what is the expected capacity at Sellafield for reprocessing spent AGR fuel rods for each year from 1989 to 2000.

Mr. Michael Spicer : To date some 18 tonnes u of AGR fuel from the Windscale AGR has been reprocessed at Sellafield. This was carried out for the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority in the early 1970s in a facility that was shut down in 1973.

The thermal oxide reprocessing plant is scheduled to begin reprocessing operations in late 1992. In its first 10 years of operation, BNFL has contracted to reprocess 6,000 tonnes u of fuel, of which 1,850 tonnes u is AGR fuel (some 40,000 AGR fuel assemblies) from the home generating boards and some 30 tonnes u of fuel from Windscale for the authority. It is expected that an additional 1,000 tonnes of capacity will be available during the first 10 years of the plant, so that additional capacity could be allocated to AGR fuel.

Mr. Alan W. Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the problem of conversion of spent AGR fuel rods in storage under water at Sellafield ; what proportion are corroded ; after how many years under water corrosion becomes a problem ; what problems are encountered in reprocessing badly corroded AGR fuel ; and how much more expensive it is to reprocess.

Mr. Michael Spicer : BNFL did experience problems with corrosion in one out of its three storage ponds some four years ago. The measures taken to deal with these were successful. The company estimated that only some 3.5 per cent. of the fuel pins housed there had suffered. Representative samples have been dismantled without any problems and reprocessing should proceed smoothly with no additional costs to be incurred by the generating boards.

British Nuclear Fuels plc has carried out extensive research into the storage of AGR fuel under water. I am advised that all available evidence suggests that, for fuel

Column 93

maintained in the correct water chemistry, no significant corrosion will occur for at least 10 years, and possibly longer.

Nuclear Materials (Safeguards)

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy on how many occasions nuclear material has been withdrawn from safeguards under article 14 of the tripartite safeguards treaty between the United Kingdom, Euratom and the International Atomic Energy Agency ; and if he will list those occasions by date, facility, amount of nuclear material involved and when the withdrawal constituted a temporary change of status for operational convenience rather than use of the material for national security reasons.

Mr. Michael Spicer : I have nothing to add to the answer that I gave to the hon. Member on 15 June 1989, at column 486.

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when it was agreed by (a) member states of the European Atomic Energy Community and (b) member states and the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, that the principle of fungibility should apply to consignments of civil nuclear materials in regard to application of safeguards.

Mr. Michael Spicer : I am advised that the existing practice regarding fungibility was formally recognised by member states of the European Atomic Energy Community by a statement of interpretation upon the adoption of Regulation 3227/76 of 19 October 1976.

Spent Fuel Rods

Mr. Alan W. Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how many spent fuel rods from advanced gas-cooled reactors await reprocessing in Sellafield.

Mr. Michael Spicer : At 31 March 1989, some 895 tonnes u of spent AGR fuel (some 21,000 AGR fuel assemblies) and some 24 tonnes u of fuel (1,900 assemblies) from the Windscale AGR were held in storage ponds at Sellafield.

Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how many spent Magnox fuel rods were reprocessed at Sellafield in each year from 1980.

Mr. Michael Spicer : Weights of individual magnox fuel rods vary considerably and it is the usual practice to give the quantities of magnox fuel reprocessed at Sellafield in tonnes u. On average there are 100 fuel rods per tonne. For the annual reprocessing tonnages from 1980, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Member for Eddisbury (Mr. Goodlad) to the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Smith) on 11 December 1985 at columns 638-39, and my reply to the hon. Member for Newport, West (Mr. Flynn) on 1 February 1988 at columns 473-74. The figures for 1986-87 and 1987-88 were published by my Department as part of annual information on plutonium production placed in the Library of the House. The tonnage for 1988-89 was some 875 tonnes u.

Column 94

West Burton B (Power Station)

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether he has discussed the failure to commence construction of a coal-fired power station at West Burton B with the Area Electricity Board or the chair of the Central Electricity Generating Board ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Michael Spicer : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave the hon. Member for Ashfield (Mr. Haynes) on 15 May 1989 at column 4.

Sizewell B PWR

Mr. Alan W. Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what information he has on the outturn cost of the Sizewell B pressurised water reactor power station and as to whether the construction is on schedule.

Mr. Michael Spicer : This is an operational matter for the CEGB and I have asked the chairman to reply to the hon. Member.


Mr. Jack : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what were the total amounts of (a) alpha and (b) beta radiation discharges from Sellafield in 1978 and 1988.

Mr. Michael Spicer : Radioactivity in liquid discharges to the Irish sea from Sellafield in 1978 and 1987 (the latest year for which figures are available) were as follows :

                 |Alpha           |Beta                             



1978             |68.0            |7,124                            

1987             |2.2             |89                               

Coal Industry Productivity

Mr. Cran : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy by what amount productivity in the coal industry has increased since 1974.

Mr. Michael Spicer : British Coal's productivity, measured in terms of tonnes per manshift, has risen by nearly 93 per cent. from 1973-74 to 1988-89. Between 1973-74 and 1978-79 productivity rose by just over 4 per cent. Between 1978-79 and 1988-89 it rose by some 85 per cent.


Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is the total radioactivity in curies contained (a) within all nuclear reactors, (b) within all spent nuclear fuel cooling ponds at reactor sites and (c) low and intermediate level radioactive waste stored at each reactor site.

Mr. Michael Spicer : Details of radioactivity in reactors, spent fuel and wastes stored at reactor sites are management matter for the nuclear reactor operators.

Radioactive Waste

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what quantities of contained radioactive waste bearing plutonium traces are stored at (a) Sellafield, (b) Harwell and (c) Dounreay.

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Mr. Michael Spicer : The quantities of plutonium-contaminated wastes stored at Sellafield, Harwell and Dounreay are management matters for British Nuclear Fuels plc and the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority respectively.

Nuclear Installations

Mr. Blair : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what are the existing minimum emergency planning zones around nuclear installations ; and if he has any plans to alter them.

Mr. Parkinson : The minimum emergency planning zones around nuclear installations within which detailed and pre-planned arrangements are required to ensure rapid evacuation vary from 1km and 2.4km depending on the type of installation. There are no plans to alter these minimum emergency planning zones. These arrangements also provide the basis for extending the response if required.

Nuclear Emergencies

Mr. Blair : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when the nuclear installations inspectorate and the Health and Safety Executive intend publishing their guidance on arrangements for responding to nuclear emergencies.

Mr. Parkinson : The Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) booklet "Emergency Plans for Civil Nuclear Installations" which was published in 1982 is being revised and updated to describe current arrangements. The HSE intends to publish the revised booklet later this year.

Offshore Safety

30. Mr. McAllion : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what steps he proposes to take to improve safety in the offshore oil and gas industry.

Mr. Parkinson [pursuant to his reply, 20 March 1989, c. 412] : I have today laid before each House the Offshore Installations (Emergency Pipe-line Valve) Regulations 1989.

Prior to the making of these regulations extensive consultations were carried out with organisations representing those persons within the offshore industry likely to be affected by them, including employers and the trade unions. They have been made on the advice of the Health and Safety Commission under the Mineral Workings (Offshore Installations) Act 1971. The regulations require emergency shutdown valves to be fitted on pipe-line risers serving offshore installations together with the periodic inspection and testing of these valves and their control systems. In addition an Order in Council was made on 13 June which has the effect of including these valves in the certification process of the installation.

These regulations represent an important step forward in securing improvements in the safety of offshore pipeline systems. I shall in due course be laying further regulations to deal with subsea isolation systems.

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