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Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Prime Minister (1) if she will institute an external inquiry into the proposed management buy-out proposals by senior executives of the Welsh Development Agency west Wales sector ; and if she will make a statement ;
(2) what is the Government's policy on management buyouts in the regional areas of the Welsh Development Agency ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Spicer : I understand that following a comprehensive programme of experiments at Harwell, the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority has decided to end research into cold fusion as the results have shown no evidence of fusion reactions.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the environmental impact of his Department's policies, in terms of fuel and energy supply industries for which he has responsibility.
Mr. Parkinson : The utilisation of all energy resources has an impact on the environment. The energy supply and use in this country is determined largely by customer choice and market forces within the current regulatory framework, including environmental regulations administered by the Department of the Environment.
The law requires that the environmental impacts of proposed major energy projects, like many other large developments, be assessed. With certain limitations, new power stations and pipelines fall within the ambit of the Electricity and Pipe-lines Works (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1989 which my Department administers.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if the uranium oxide breeder fuel incorporated in the Dounreay fast reactor core fuel sub- assemblies has been reprocessed with, or separate from, the fuel sub- assembly uranium/plutonium oxide fuel pins.
Column 171the amounts of residual plutonium in wastes at Harwell, Sellafield and Dounreay are notified to his Department for the purposes of nuclear safeguards records.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Newport, West (Mr. Flynn), Official Report, 19 June, column 13, if the International Atomic Energy Agency Safeguards Implementation report for 1988 lists any anomalies in regard to United Kingdom facilities ;
(2) how many instances of safeguards goals not being met are listed in the 1988 International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards implementation report, a copy of which has been received by Her Majesty's Government.
Mr. Michael Spicer : I have been asked to reply. The annual safeguards implementation reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency are confidential. A summary will be published in the agency's 1988 annual report, which will be placed in the Library of the House, when it becomes available.
Mr. Barron : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if the carbon dioxide emissions due to fossil fuels utilised in the mining and enrichment of uranium are taken account of in his Department's calculations of current and likely future greenhouse gas emissions ; what the emission rate per gigawatt year of electricity currently is ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Spicer : Carbon dioxide emissions from the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle are negligible and vary according to the country in which the activity is undertaken. Such emissions in the United Kingdom are included in the industrial emissions category. The emission rate of carbon dioxide for the electricity supplied by the CEGB, from all sources, in 1987 was approximately 7 million tonnes of CO per gigawatt year.
Mr. Barron : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what estimates his Department has produced for the carbon dioxide emissions which occur due to the fossil fuels utilised in the complete nuclear fuel cycle for a Magnox reactor, advance gas-cooled reactor and a pressurised water reactor of the Hinkley C type.
Mr Michael Spicer : My Department has made no detailed estimates of CO emissions from the fuel cycle for nuclear power stations, but in general these will be negligible and depend on the sources of energy supply used to run the individual processes involved.
Mr. Barron : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what specific proposals his Department has put forward for consideration and enactment, in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide and methane, since the seminar held by the Prime Minister on 26 April.
Mr. Barron : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) how many waste landfill sites produce methane gas in the United Kingdom ; how much methane gas is estimated to be produced annually in million tonnes of methane and carbon dioxide equivalent ; and what estimates he has of additional sources of methane gas ;
(2) what level of methane leaks occurs in natural gas systems in the United Kingdom, in both million tonnes and as a percentage of total gas produced, broken down by (a) that related to natural gas production and pipelines and (b) that related to point of use.
Mr. Michael Spicer : Any site which has taken biodegradeable waste has the potential to produce landfill gas. Records of the types of waste permitted at landfill sites in England and Wales show that there are approximately 3,500 sites which have been licensed to receive waste of the type that can produce landfill gas. In 1988 Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution estimated that some 1,300 of these might require gas management measures. In addition, HMIP is aware of sites producing landfill gas which were licensed to deposit only inert wastes.
My Department has expended £10 million on research and development into biofuels, including £1.1 million on landfill gas up to the end of the financial year 1988-1989. This has resulted in successful demonstrations of landfill gas technology which is leading to increasing commercial exploitation. Recent estimates from the Energy Technology Support Unit suggest that about 0.7 megatonnes of methane are produced annually by landfill sites in the United Kingdom. As molecule for molecule methane is about 25 to 30 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than is carbon dioxide, this represents the equivalent, on a weight for weight basis, of between 50 to 55 megatonnes of CO .
We are aware of 14 sites generating electricity from landfill gas with an installed capacity of around 25 MW. We expect the installed capacity to increase to over 40 MW during the next year. The non-fossil fuel obligation in the Electricity Bill should provide an enhanced opportunity for renewable energy, including landfill gas. All economic and practical proposals will be eligible to contribute to the initial obligation to be set towards the end of 1989. Further tranches totalling up to 600 MW reserved exclusively for renewables will be set during the 1990s.
Other significant non-biological sources of methane gas consist of leakages from the natural gas production, distribution and supply system and from the seepage of the gas during coal production--this represented just over 1 megatonnes in 1988 of which about 10 per cent. is utilised and so does not escape to the atmosphere. Natural gas leakage, together with permitted venting in the United Kingdom continental shelf, amounts to about 1 per cent. of throughput, or about 0.4 megatonnes a year of methane at current levels. The majority of this is attributable to leakage from the distribution system and only a very small proportion relates to the point of use.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the implications for the operation in Poland of the Helsinki Final Act of the threat by the managing director
Column 173of the Anglo-Polish company Durainsul to sack any worker at its leased port of the Gdansk shipyard who joins a trade union.
Mr. Waldegrave : All CSCE states decided in the 1983 Madrid concluding document to ensure the right of workers freely to establish and join trade unions and other rights as laid down in relevant international instruments. We expect states to comply fully with this and all other CSCE commitments.
Mr. Hunter : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the political situation in Angola and the prospects for the ending of civil war in that country.
Mrs. Chalker : We warmly welcome the progress made towards internal reconciliation in Angola, notably the meeting between President dos Santos and Dr. Savimbi on 22 June and the agreement to implement a ceasefire from 24 June. We are urging both sides to respect the ceasefire and to continue to show flexibility in the difficult negotiations that lie ahead.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many official visits abroad he has made during his tenure of office ; how many officials on average accompanied him on each trip ; and what was the total cost.
|Visits ----------------------------- 1983 |25 1984 |43 1985 |49 1986 |41 1987 |42 1988 |40 1989 to date |19 |------- Total |259
On average three officials have accompanied him on each trip. The total cost was £4,200,000 approximately.
Mr. Eggar : Our excellent relations with Pakistan have been reinforced by the restoration of democracy in that country. We look forward to Prime Minister Bhutto's visit here as a guest of the British Government from 5 to 12 July.
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much he paid the hydrographers department for the last complete period for advice on territorial limits and international maritime advice.
Mr. Eggar : The hydrographer's department is part of the Ministry of Defence and is funded by that Ministry. The hydrographer's department does not charge the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for its advice.
Mr. Dykes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next expects to attend the European Economic Community Council of Ministers to discuss preparations for the proposed inter-governmental conference on economic and monetary union.
Mrs. Chalker : My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and I expect to attend the Foreign Affairs Council on 17 and 18 July. The agenda will include follow- up to the Madrid European Council.
Mr. Canavan : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he had had with representatives of the Government of Hong Kong ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar : My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs visited Hong Kong from 2 to 4 July. During his visit he met the Governor, senior officials and representatives of the community of Hong Kong. Their discussions covered the range of current issues in Hong Kong, including recent developments in China and their implications for Hong Kong.
Mr. Eggar : My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has already discussed this matter with his EC colleagues at the recent meeting of the European Council in Madrid. We will continue to urge the international community to join us in doing everything possible to restore the confidence of people in Hong Kong following the recent appalling events in China.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Israeli local authorities about the killing of Atwah Lufti Sumar Hirzallah ; and what response he obtained.
Mr. Butler : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will report on the common action being taken by the European Community against the Government of the People's Republic of China.
Mr. Eggar : The EC issued a joint statement on 6 June which strongly condemned the violent suppression of the demonstrations in China. On 15 June the presidency carried out a demarche, stressing the Twelve's grave concern at continuing repression and expressing hope that economic and political reform could be put back on course, together with adherence to respect for human rights. On 17 June a further demarche was made, appealing for clemency for the first persons sentenced to death in connection with the demonstrations. On 27 June the European Council agreed a declaration on China which reiterated the Twelve's condemnation and adopted a package of measures to be taken by the Community and its member states.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list all the countries that have neither signed nor ratified, acceded or succeeded to the non-proliferation treaty.
St. Christopher and Nevis
United Arab Emirates
United Republic of Tanzania
Signed the Treaty on 22 August 1968, but has not ratified.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the countries currently party to the non-proliferation treaty with their dates (a) of signature, (b) of subsequent deposit of instrument of ratification, accession or succession and (c) of safeguards agreement in force with the International Atomic Energy Agency under the non-proliferation treaty.
Mr. Waldegrave : I am placing in the Library of the House a list of the dates of signature and ratification, accession or succession to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Details of safeguards agreements are contained in the publication "Agreements Registered with the International Atomic Energy Agency", a copy of which will be placed in the Library of the House. We understand that the publication is currently being updated by the agency, and a copy of the revised edition will be placed in the Library when it is issued.
Column 176at present have signed the non-proliferation treaty but have not ratified, acceded or succeeded to it, with their dates of signature.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list those occasions since May 1979 when representations concerning the non-proliferation treaty have been made at ministerial level by Her Majesty's Government to those states not party to the non-proliferation treaty at the time of the representation.
Mr. Waldegrave Such representations have been made at a variety of levels on numerous occasions. A detailed list could, however, be supplied only at disproportionate cost.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the reply to the hon. Member for Leyton (Mr. Cohen), Official Report, 14 June, column 475, he will set out in the Official Report the last opportunity deemed suitable when Her Majesty's Government's views on non-proliferation were made clear to the Indian Government.
non-proliferation issues with members of the Indian Government during his visit to India from 28 March to 1 April.