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Female Councillors

Mrs. Calton: To ask the Minister for Women what estimate she has made of the number of female councillors. [59080]

Mrs. Roche: I have been asked to reply.

Based on their census of councillors in England and Wales, the Improvement and Development Agency and the Employers' Organisation for Local Government estimate that, as at May 2001, there were approximately 5,900 female councillors in England and Wales.

Domestic Violence

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Minister for Women what sources are employed by her Department for the statistics on domestic violence. [58105]

Ms Hewitt: The main sources of statistics on domestic violence used to inform policy come from the British Crime Survey, police records and a range of national and international research.

The Government are committed to furthering our understanding of the scope, dimension and impact of domestic violence. This is why my hon. Friend, the Deputy Minister for Women is launching national research into the economic costs of domestic violence.



Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps have been taken by BNFL since October 1993 to remediate the leakage from the B241 storage tanks at Sellafield; and what her estimate is of the cost incurred to date to rectify the problem. [57984]

Mr. Wilson: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Carmichael) on 13 May 2002, Official Report, column 423W, concerning work undertaken in respect of B241. This work forms part of BNFL's management of nuclear liabilities, details of which are set out in their annual report and accounts. I am told by BNFL that, to date, the company has spent in the region of £100 million in respect of B241.

Accident (Sellafield)

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry at what time she was informed of the accident at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant on 8 February; at what time and how she alerted the Irish Government to potential risk; what steps she took in the first 24 hours to deal with the accident; what her assessment is of the discharge involved; how many employees were exposed to danger; what the cause of the accident was; and what steps she has taken to prevent a repetition. [40896]

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Mr. Wilson [holding answer 18 March 2002]: BNFL reported an event during the recommissioning of defuelling plant at Calder Hall power station to my officials at 19.55 on Friday, 8 February. Calder Hall nuclear power station is situated on the Sellafield site but is not part of the nuclear reprocessing plant. My office received a short written brief on the circumstances at 15.15 on Monday, 11 February. I refer my hon. Friend to the Official Report, columns 356–57W for a statement on the event given on 6 March 2002. No discharges of any kind resulted and there was no danger at any time to any member of the work force, the public or to the environment.

The circumstances rated well below the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) which defines categories of incidents and accidents, and they fell outside the criteria for passing information to the Irish Government on reportable incidents.

Defuelling at Calder Hall has been suspended until BNFL reports the outcome of its internal investigation and completes any requirements for remedial action to the satisfaction of the Health and Safety Executive's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate.

Nuclear Reprocessing Plants

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if her Department was represented at the hearings on the report published by the European Parliament's STOA programme on possible toxic effects from the nuclear reprocessing plants at Sellafield and La Hague held in the European Parliament on 17 and 18 April. [54857]

Mr. Wilson [holding answer 15 May 2002]: The Department was not represented at the hearing. However, the Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations gave a presentation explaining the systems for environmental and health and safety regulation of the UK civil nuclear industry.


Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made in monitoring BNFL's performance as a liabilities manager. [60030]

Mr. Wilson: My officials are working with their advisers and the company to develop performance measures to cover the range of BNFL's businesses, including liabilities management.

Nuclear Reactors

Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her Department is doing to support the development of low cost, low waste nuclear reactors. [59730]

Mr. Wilson: The UK is involved in international nuclear systems work including the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO) project and the Generation IV International Forum (GIF). 10 countries participate in GIF, which was started by the United States Department of Energy (USDOE), including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Korea, Japan, South Africa, Switzerland, US and UK. Both initiatives promote the development of

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longer-term nuclear reactor designs that offer improved safety performance, proliferation resistance, waste minimalisation and competitively priced electricity.

MOX Fuel Shipments

Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if the faulty MOX fuel due to be returned from Japan to Sellafield will be categorised as radioactive waste; and if she will make a statement. [55839]

Mr. Wilson [holding answer 22 May 2002]: BNFL have reconfirmed that they foresee a range of possible future uses for the MOX fuel due to be returned to the UK from Japan and that they have no intention of declaring the fuel as waste.

Nuclear Power

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what meetings she has had with environmental groups on nuclear power since 1 January 2001. [59299]

Mr. Wilson: The Government attaches a high priority to establishing a good dialogue with our stakeholders. Ministers have had discussions with representatives of environmental groups in various fora on a range of issues including nuclear power. I hope that they will continue to contribute their views in particular in the context of the current energy policy consultation.

Nuclear Waste Management

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action she intends to take on the Royal Society's recommendation that there should be an urgent safety review of nuclear waste management to take into account the possibility of extreme terrorist intervention. [58899]

Mr. Wilson: The Government take the safe and secure management of radioactive waste very seriously and is considering the responses made to the consultation document "Managing Radioactive Waste Safely", published by the UK Government and the devolved Administrations on 12 September 2001.

As I have previously explained to the House, all relevant safety and security precautions at nuclear sites, including those applying to the management of nuclear waste, have been reviewed in the light of the events of 11 September. They will continue to be kept under regular review in the future. It is not Government policy to disclose details of security measures taken at civil nuclear sites.


Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of the UK's electricity in the last 12 months has come from (a) wind power, (b) wave power, (c) solar power, (d) coal-fired power stations, (e) gas-fired power stations and (f) nuclear power stations; what those percentages were in each of the previous 10 years; and what she estimates the likely percentage will be in each of the next 10 years. [59729]

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Mr. Wilson: Generation from onshore and offshore wind in 2000 (the last full year for which data is available) was 946 GWh (0.25 per cent. of total generation) having risen steadily from a low base of 9 GWh in 1990. Wave power output in 2000 was from shoreline devices only and was less than 1 MWh. Solar photovoltaics produced 2 GWh of electricity in 2000, which was less than 0.01 per cent. of total generation.

Generation from coal accounted for 70 per cent. of the UK's electricity in 1990, falling to 29 per cent. in 1999, but rising to 32 per cent. in 2000. Gas fired stations accounted for less than 1 per cent. of UK generation in 1990, but rose to 15 per cent. by 1995 and 39 per cent. in 2000. Nuclear power stations accounted for 20 per cent. of UK generation in 1990 and peaked at 28 per cent. in 1998 before falling back to 26 per cent. in 1999 and 23 per cent. in 2000.

Projections for the shares of different types of generating station over the next 20 years can be found in Annex D of Energy paper 68, published by DTI in November 2000. The paper can be viewed on the web at

Given that the Renewables Obligation is a market- based approach, the deployment levels for individual renewable technologies are for the industry rather than the Government, and we do not have forward estimates for those technologies individually. We would, however, expect a significant contribution to the 10 per cent. target for renewable energy from onshore and offshore wind energy. Wave and solar technology need further development for them to become commercially viable.

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