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MOX Shipments

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the countries to which plutonium MOX fuel made at Sellafield's MDF Plant has been exported and the dates of export; and in which cases and on what dates the recipient countries have requested the return of a fuel pin or rod on grounds of safety or inadequate quality control. [112351]

Mrs. Liddell: I understand from BNFL that MOX fuel was exported from Sellafield to Germany in October 1996. Similar transports to Switzerland were undertaken in November 1995 and August 1997. As regards requests for any fuel to be returned to the UK, the position in respect of Switzerland was set out in my Answer to my hon. Friend of 25 January 2000, Official Report, columns 194-95W. As regards Japan, the shipment departed Europe in July 1999. Earlier this year the Ministry of International Trade and Industry asked that fuel delivered by BNFL to Kansai Electric's Takahama reactor should be returned to the UK. The Japanese and UK Governments are to discuss this further, along with other options for the fuel.

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what reports he has received regarding the falsification and manipulation of fuel quality control data in respect of BNFL MOX fuel supplied to Switzerland; and if he will make a statement. [106711]

Mrs. Liddell [pursuant to her reply, 14 February 2000, c. 366W]: My Answer referred to certain BNFL fuel pellets supplied to Switzerland in February 1997. This was incorrect. The pellets were in fact manufactured at that time and supplied in August 1997. The rest of the Answer remains correct.

End of Life Vehicles Directive

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if he will make a statement on the decision by the European Parliament to amend the proposed Directive on End of Life Vehicles to require car manufacturers to pay for the recycling of used cars when they reach the end of their lives; [113541]

Ms Hewitt: In its Second Reading on this Directive, the European Parliament has put forward a number of amendments, none of which have the effect described by the hon. Member. The Commission's proposal of

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December 1997 required manufacturers to pay for the recycling of used cars. Following pressure from the UK and some other member states, the Council Common Position provides member states with greater flexibility, simply requiring them to ensure that producers make at least a significant contribution to the costs of free take- back of end of life vehicles. The European Parliament has not proposed a change to this wording, although it has proposed a change to the dates from which it will apply, and the vehicles to which it will apply. Conciliation between the Council and Parliament now seems likely. On this particular issue, the UK will aim to secure flexibility for member states in deciding how best to organise free take-back and recycling.

New Cars

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he will publish the findings of the Competition Commission's inquiry into the supply of new cars. [113362]

Mr. Byers: I will publish the Competition Commission report on the supply of new cars as quickly as is consistent with my legal obligations.

Ilisu Dam

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received concerning alternative developments to the Ilisu Dam to provide energy for Turkey; and if he will make a statement. [112829]

Mr. Caborn [holding answer 6 March 2000]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I have received a great deal of correspondence regarding the Ilisu project, and this correspondence has included many assertions that various alternatives to the project should be considered.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Savidge) on 3 March 2000, Official Report, column 423W.

It is for the project sponsor to consider the comparative risks, costs and benefits of alternatives to a particular project. Turkey needs to expand its generating capacity considerably. We know that they are looking at coal, gas and oil fired stations elsewhere in Turkey and also at nuclear power. It is natural that they should see hydro power--a clean, renewable energy source which does not involve imports--as having a place in meeting this need.

Social Enterprise Sector

Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action he has initiated since the publication of the Social Exclusion Unit Policy Action Team 3 report on Enterprise and Social Exclusion (A National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal) to improve support for, and to promote, the social enterprise sector; and if he will make a statement. [113451]

Mr. Byers: Since the publication of the Policy Action Team's report on Enterprise and Social Exclusion, my Department has taken a number of steps to improve the support for start-ups and existing small businesses, including social enterprises.

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The SBS is currently exploring ways of encouraging Business Links to provide support to social enterprises, for example through:

    The SBS will be involved in a study trip to Valencia in Spain in April, led by Social Enterprise London, to look at co-operatives and other forms of social enterprises. The SBS will be disseminating the outcome of this work widely.

In January this year, I published "The Small Business Service: Summary of Consultation Replies and the Government's Response". One of the overarching aims this set out for the SBS was that it would help promote enterprise across society and particularly in disadvantaged communities.

Entrepreneurs and social enterprises in deprived areas can find it difficult to obtain finance to get their ideas off the ground. We therefore launched the Phoenix Fund in November last year with a key objective to support the provision of community finance. In this context we are working closely with the UK Social Investment Forum and Community Finance Initiatives to design ways in which we can support lending to entrepreneurs and social enterprises in the deprived areas. We hope to be able to announce the form that support will take later in the spring. We will continue to work with banks to highlight social exclusion as an issue and agree new ways forward.

We have contracted with the National Federation of Enterprise Agencies to run a pilot Business Volunteer Mentoring Association scheme until March 2001. This aims to recruit 1,000 volunteers from all sections of the business community, and from a diversity of backgrounds, to provide free mentoring advice to pre and early start up businesses, including from deprived communities. If the pilot is successful, it will be incorporated within the services provided by the Small Business Service.

My Department is also supporting the National Enterprise Campaign, to be launched this spring, which will encourage enterprise and help develop entrepreneurial skills throughout the UK, including the social enterprise sector.

Finally I am pleased to announce that the Prime Minister has agreed that the Minister for Competition and Consumer Affairs will take on additional responsibilities on corporate social responsibility, as recommended by the Policy Action Team. As Minister for Corporate Social Responsibility, he will be seeking to promote the business case for corporate social responsibility and to develop stronger links between different Government Departments' work in this area.

Renewable Energy

Mr. Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the contribution of tidal barrages to meeting the Government's 10 per cent. target for renewable energy; and if he will make a statement. [113135]

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Mrs. Liddell: Under the Government's policy on renewables the choice of technology to meet future targets will be left largely to the industry. The assessment undertaken for the Government's consultation document on renewables "New and Renewable Energy: Prospects for the 21 Century--Supporting Analysis" did not lead us to expect a significant contribution from tidal barrages in meeting current targets.

Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action he is taking to encourage the promotion of renewable energy; and if he will make a statement. [113056]

Mrs. Liddell: The Government published their new policy on renewables in February in their report "New and Renewable Energy, Prospects for the 21 Century: Conclusions in response to the Public Consultation". The Government will promote renewables in a number of ways. For example:

    we have exempted electricity and heat from renewable sources from the Climate Change Levy, giving industry a financial incentive to use more renewable energy.

    we are developing a regional approach to renewable energy planning and targets to facilitate renewables developments while continuing to protect the countryside.

    we are developing a growing supporting programme of research, development, demonstration and dissemination in renewables which is expected to include a marketing campaign to raise public awareness of renewable energy.

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