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Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if export licences have been granted for the export of (a) depleted uranium materials and (b) manufactured products of which depleted uranium materials form part; and how many such licences were granted and in which years. 
Dr. Howells [holding answer 26 February 2001]: The export of depleted uranium is controlled under entry 0C001 of Annex 1 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1334-2000. This entry also covers natural uranium and thorium. Since May 2 1997 details of licences granted covering the export of goods rated 0C001 have been outlined in the Government's annual reports on strategic export controls. In addition, between 1 January 2000 and 11 February 2001, seven standard individual export licences (SIELs) and four open individual export licences (OIELs) have been issued covering goods with this rating. As regards how many of these licences covered the export of depleted uranium, investigations are being made and I will write to my hon. Friend as soon as possible and place a copy of that letter in the Library of the House.
Manufactured products of which depleted uranium materials form part would be controlled under the relevant entries in Part III of Schedule I of the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994 and also under the relevant entries in Annex 1 of the Dual Use and Related Items (Export Control) Regulations 2000. The control would cover the product itself and not the depleted uranium contained therein. Consequently, it would entail disproportionate cost to establish which, if any, licences covered the export of manufactured products of which depleted uranium materials form part.
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There are also certain forms of depleted uranium, for example, when specifically fabricated for certain non-nuclear applications, which are not covered by strategic export controls and would not therefore require an export licence.
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much money has been allocated to fund pilot schemes for post offices in Scotland to act (a) as Government general practitioners and (b) internet learning and access points. 
Mr. Alan Johnson: The Scottish Executive received a funding consequential of £3.5 million as a result of money being allocated in England for the support of pilots of Government general practitioner and internet learning and access points. All funding consequentials contribute to a block allocation to the Scottish Executive. It is for Scottish Executive Ministers to decide how that money is allocated.
Ms Kelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Bolton, West constituency, the effects on Bolton, West of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. 
Mr. Caborn: The Department does not maintain statistical information at constituency level.
My hon. Friend's constituents, like many others throughout Greater Manchester, will have benefited from my Department's employment rights policies, which include the national minimum wage, working time directive, part-time working regulations and improved maternity leave.
All wards in Bolton, West are eligible for the enterprise grant scheme. Halliwell and Blackrod are included in the revised assisted area map and are therefore also eligible for regional selective assistance.
In the north-west region, my Department's policies have contributed to growth in employment by 107,000 and a fall in unemployment by 63,000, and to reductions in youth unemployment by 75 per cent. and long-term unemployment by 54 per cent.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Hull, North constituency, the effects on Hull, North of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. 
Mr. Caborn: The Department has provided the following support for firms in Hull since May 1997. Information at constituency level is not available in all cases.
Regional Selective Assistance (RSA)
RSA is a capital investment grant linked to the creation or safeguarding of jobs in designated areas of need. 24 RSA grant offers totalling £4,485,000 have been made
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to firms in the Hull, North constituency, to support projects with a capital expenditure of £74,118,750, and to create and safeguard a total of 854 jobs.
The enterprise grants scheme is a simplified scheme that was introduced in April 2000 to help small firms undertake fixed capital investment projects. Three offers totalling £54,000 have been made to firms in the Hull, North constituency, to support projects with a capital expenditure of £466,675.
Smart awards are designed to help small firms with the introduction of new products and processes. 15 Smart awards totalling £743,933 have been made to firms in Hull (information is not available at constituency level).
Business Link Humberside have provided services to small business in Hull (including the Hull, North constituency) since 1997. This has included general and specialised advice to help businesses expand, export development counselling, ICT advice, and a full range of specialist information. From April 2001, these services will be provided by the Small Business Service operating through a new Humberside Business Link.
Ms Perham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what initiatives embarked upon since May 1997 have benefited Ilford, North; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Caborn: The parliamentary constituency of Ilford, North has benefited from a range of initiatives since May 1997. Direct business advice and support to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) is available from the DTI through core programmes and Business Links. While the Department does not collect detailed statistical information on a constituency basis, over 394 requests for advice, information and support from SMEs in Ilford, North have been handled by the Business Links since May 1997.
All wards in the constituency are eligible for the enterprise grant scheme, which was introduced in 2000.
Mr. Page: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many employment tribunals were outstanding against Post Office Counters Ltd. at the beginning of February. 
Mr. Alan Johnson: As of 31 January 2001, the public registers of applications and decisions for England and Wales and Scotland showed a total of 11 employment tribunal claims against Post Office Counters Ltd. as still outstanding with no decision recorded in these cases.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much has been allocated to the insurance liability fund set aside to underwrite accidents at United Kingdom nuclear facilities; and what steps have been taken to increase the amount of compensation available under the Nuclear Installations Act 1965. 
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Mr. Hain: There is no specific insurance liability fund set aside by the Treasury. Under UK legislation, implementing the Paris and Brussels conventions on third-party liability in the field of nuclear energy, it is the duty of the operator of a nuclear installation to maintain insurance cover of £140 million per accident.
In the event of a nuclear accident causing damage exceeding this amount, public funds would be made available, at present up to a guaranteed amount of 300 million special drawing rights (approx £300 million). Parliament may vote additional funds. Proposals currently under consideration as part of the negotiations to revise the Paris and Brussels conventions would significantly increase the amount of guaranteed compensation provided.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the incident that occurred at the high level radioactive waste storage tanks at Sellafield in January; and what report he has received from the nuclear installations inspectorate in respect of the incident. 
Mr. Hain: The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) informed my Department on 29 January 2001 that on 26 January, the ventilation system in B215, the building which houses the highly active liquid storage vessels at Sellafield, was out of action for two and three quarter hours. The problem occurred during work to install a new caustic scrubber to improve the building's ventilation system. This work is being undertaken in line with requirements of the Environment Agency (EA). No radioactivity was released and no worker was exposed to enhanced levels of radiation.
I understand that HSE's nuclear installations inspectorate (NII) has directed BNFL to halt work on the ventilation system in B215 and to review the conduct of operations within that plant. BNFL are required to submit a report to HSE within four weeks (ie by 5 March). HSE's consent will be required before BNFL can resume work on modifying the ventilation system. The HSE has also informed the Department that as a result of its action THORP remains closed.
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