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Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to assist the Marconi employees in Mid-Dorset and North Poole: and if she will take action to assist those due to be made redundant. 
Alan Johnson [holding answer 10 July 2001]: The Employment Service has held discussions with the company and will be in touch with the affected employees to offer advice and assistance. They will continue to work closely with Marconi and other local partners to do everything possible to help workers get new jobs and provide retraining if necessary. The hon. Member will be invited to attend a local meeting of the partners to discuss this on 2 August.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the recent accident at the Chapelcross nuclear power plant; and when she was first informed of the incident. 
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Mr. Wilson [holding answer 12 July 2001]: In the early hours of Thursday 5 July, an incident occurred at Chapelcross nuclear power station. Reactor 3 at Chapelcross was shut down for off-load refuelling. During refuelling operations, a basket containing 24 irradiated fuel elements, which had just been removed from the reactor, became dislodged inside the de-fuelling machine. Initial investigations by BNFL, the operator of the site, indicated that the basket containing the fuel had fallen approximately two feet (later revised to 1.6 metres) on to the doors of the hoist well, which is part of the route to transfer fuel to the fuel storage ponds. I was first informed of the matter at lunchtime on the day of the incident.
Following further investigation it became clear on 12 and 13 July that the other 12 fuel elements had fallen through the hoist well doors. On 13 July following discussion between BNFL and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), BNFL decided progressively to shut down the three operational reactors at Chapelcross in order that the station's resources could be concentrated on the fuel recovery programme. On 15 July one of the operational reactors at Chapelcross was shut down.
Over the weekend of 1415 July, BNFL confirmed, using remote cameras, that 12 elements had fallen around 25 metres down the hoist well and were believed to be in a water filled fuel flask at the bottom of the hoist well.
On 16 July, HSE confirmed that nine substantially complete fuel elements could be seen under water in the fuel flask together with the three other fuel elements in several pieces. HSE confirm that the damaged fuel elements are safe and stable as long as they remain submerged. The hoist well is part of the fuel discharge route and, as such, has features that would mitigate any release of radioactivity. BNFL used gamma radiation monitors in the fuel discharge route to detect radioactivity levels, which HSE confirmed were consistent with the understanding of the situation.
In the evening of 17 July, BNFL were able to move the fuel flask from the bottom of the well to the fuel pond area. Remote inspection of the flask has confirmed that it contains nine intact fuel elements and the pieces of the other three. Now that all the fuel elements have been located the site incident has been declared closed and the progressive shut down of the remaining two operating reactors at Chapelcross has been suspended. A project plan is now being developed to recover the 12 fuel elements in the defuelling machine. BNFL estimate that this may take one or two weeks.
Any incident at a nuclear power station is treated very seriously and HSE and BNFL are carrying out investigations into the incident of 5 July. HSE will not allow BNFL to resume fuelling operations at any of Chapelcross's four reactors or at Calder Hall, which has similar re-fuelling system, until they are satisfied that it is safe to do so. Other Magnox stations use different equipment and are not affected by this incident. I am receiving daily reports on developments at Chapelcross from both HSE and BNFL.
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Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what enforcement action has been taken under the relevant legislation in respect of Chapelcross nuclear power station; and on what dates. 
Mr. Wilson: In relation to the recent incident at Chapelcross, I understand from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that no enforcement action has been taken to date and that HSE's investigation into the incident continues.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what enforcement notices have been issued in respect of Chapelcross nuclear power station; for what reasons; and what timescales have been attached to them. 
Mr. Wilson: In relation to the recent incident at Chapelcross, I understand from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that no enforcement notices have been issued to date and that HSE's investigation into the incident continues.
Tony Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if she will make a statement on her Department's policies for lowering the cost of credit for those without a bank account; 
|Country||Total exposure (£ million)|
|Korea Republic of||39|
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Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to implement the proposals set out in February in the Department of Trade and Industry's 'Responses to Consultations and Final Proposals' document concerning 'Exemptions from the Requirement for a Licence to Generate, Distribute or Supply Electricity'. 
Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what assessment she has made of the performance of (a) electricity and (b) gas suppliers in relation to door step selling; 
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Mr. Wilson: The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM) is responsible for monitoring the performance of gas and electricity suppliers in all areas of marketing and sales, including doorstep selling. Where necessary it will take formal action against individual suppliers. OFGEM publishes details of complaints by domestic consumers about the direct selling practices of individual suppliers.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the annual expenditure has been on research, demonstration and development, since 1991, on (a) active solar power, (b) passive solar power, (c) wave power, (d) tidal power, (e) geothermal powers, (f) onshore wind powers, (g) offshore wind powers, (h) biomass energy, (i) hydrogen conversion technologies, (j) fuel cells, (k) nuclear fission, (l) nuclear fusion, (m) clean coal, (n) combined heat and power and (o) combined-cycle gas by (i) his Department and (ii) relevant publicly owned utilities; and what annual payments have been made in each year since 1991 to (A) Euratom, (B) the European Commission's joint research centres and (C) the International Atomic Energy Agency. 
Mr. Wilson: Available information is set out in the tables. The Government have allocated some £260 million over the next three years to support renewable energy, including an expanded research and development programme. This is an addition to the new Renewables Obligation and exemption for renewables electricity from the Climate Change Levy.
|Active (including PV)||0.1||0.3||0.1||0.9||0.7||0.6||0.7||0.9||1.7||1.7|
|Combined Heat and Power||0.3||0.3||0.4||0.5||0.5||0.7||1.0||1.3||1.9||2.5|
(20) Of DTI's total spend on nuclear R&D given in the table, about £15 million annually is fusion research; there is also some additional expenditure in support of Meteorological Office emergency response arrangements. Expenditure by public sector bodies is set out in their annual reports and accounts, and could not be provided in the manner requested without disproportionate cost
1. Separate research programmes do not yet exist for hydrogen conversion technologies or combined-cycle gas
2. The table sets out identified Government spend and excludes, for example, spending by Research Councils, which could not be separated in the manner requested without disproportionate cost
3. DEFRA has lead responsibility within Government for combined heat and power. Figures include funds from the Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme and from the Energy Savings Trust
4. DTI's sustainable energy R&D programme also includes support for activities which are not technology specific, for example, export commercialisation, marketing and international activities
20 Jul 2001 : Column: 585W
1. Figures shown are for total EC budget payments to Euratom and to the European Commission's Joint Research Centre.
2. In 2000, the UK contributed around 15 per cent. after abatement, of the total EC payments.
3. EC budget payments to Euratom began in 1995.
|Regular Budget Subscription||8,048,512|
|Technical Co-operation Fund||1,870,134|
|Regular Budget Subscription||9,061,670|
|Technical Co-operation Fund||2,205,414|
|Regular Budget Subscription||7,670,799|
|Technical Co-operation Fund||2,249,969|
|Regular Budget Subscription||5,950,148|
|Technical Co-operation Fund||2,516,139|
|Regular Budget Subscription||6,143,449|
|Technical Co-operation Fund||2,267,527|
|Regular Budget Subscription||6,291,197|
|Technical Co-operation Fund||2,386,354|
|Regular Budget Subscription||6,561,613|
|Technical Co-operation fund||2,577,181|
Comparable figures for years before 1995 are unavailable.
Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what assessment she has made of the adequacy of procedures adopted by the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority, and its predecessor bodies, for the purposes of commissioning consultancy contracts related to the joint programme of work on the changes to the electricity market, overseen by the joint DTI/OFFER/OFGEM steering committee; 
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(3) which consultants were used to (a) develop and (b) implement the work overseen by the joint DTI/ OFGEM committee introducing changes to the electricity market; 
(4) what estimates the DTI has made in its regulatory impact assessment of the costs of developing and implementing the joint programme of work undertaken by his Department and OFGEM and its predecessor bodies for (a) the companies involved, (b) OFFER and (c) OFGEM in relation to electricity trading. 
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the value was of Government investment and subsidy for (a) the production of nuclear power, (b) development, planning and construction of nuclear power stations, (c) production of wind, wave, solar and other renewable energy sources and (d) development, planning and construction of wind, wave, solar and other renewable power stations in each year since 1997; and what her estimates are for each year until 200506. 
Mr. Wilson [holding answer 17 July 2001]: No Government investment or subsidy has been paid in the years since 1997 toward the production of nuclear power or to the development, planning or construction of nuclear power stations. There is no current expectation that there will be any in the period to 200506.
Payments for production and development of power from renewable sources under the Non Fossil Fuel Obligation (England and Wales), the Scottish Renewables Order and the Non Fossil Fuel Obligation (Northern Ireland) for each year from 199798 are shown in the table. The cost of these payments is met by the electricity consumer.
|Year||England and Wales||Scotland||Northern Ireland|
In addition to support to be provided under the Renewables Obligation, the Government have pledged over £260 million over the next three years in direct support for the production and development of renewable energy. Renewables will also be helped indirectly through exemption from the Climate Change Levy.
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Information on energy which is produced and used within the same location, such as electricity generated and used on site and heat generated on site from a local source such as renewables, is available in the Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics. The Digest for 2001 will be published on 26 July 2001 and a copy will be placed in the Library of the House.
The Digest for 2001 will show that electricity generated by companies other than major power producers and not transferred to the public distribution system increased at a rate of 9 per cent. a year between 1996 and 2000.
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