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5 Dec 2002 : Column 995W—continued

French Nuclear Facilities

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she has taken to satisfy herself that (a) the normal emission levels from nuclear facilities on the northern coast of France and (b) the emergency procedures in place at nuclear facilities on the northern coast of France are consistent with proper protection of the UK environment. [84746]

Mr. Wilson [holding answer 3 December 2002]: Under Directive 96/29/Euratom, member states are required to ensure that discharges do not give rise to doses to members of the public which exceed the prescribed limits. The UK participates fully in the process through which these limits are determined. Each member state has an obligation for ensuring that these Euratom Community requirements are implemented in their national law, and for establishing facilities necessary to carry out continuous monitoring of the level of radioactivity in the air, water and soil. The European Commission has the task of ensuring compliance with these requirements and has specific powers under which it can verify the operation and efficiency of the monitoring equipment around nuclear sites. The UK Government have no reason to believe that the European Commission has not been assiduous in fulfilling its enforcement responsibilities in France, or indeed, anywhere else in the European Union.

In addition, under Article 37 of the Euratom Treaty, member states are required to submit general data to the European Commission relating to any plan for the disposal of radioactive waste so that the Commission can determine whether the plan is liable to result in radioactive contamination of the water, soil or airspace of another member state. France will have been required to submit such data to the Commission in respect of nuclear facilities on its northern coast and to satisfy the Commission that the disposal of waste from those facilities would not result in the radioactive contamination of any part of the United Kingdom.

It is the responsibility of each member state to ensure that the operations undertaken at the civil nuclear installations on its territory comply with the requirements of the Euratom Basic Safety Standards (Council Directive 96/29/Euratom), which includes requirements concerning emergency preparedness. Emergency preparedness requirements are also included under Article 16 of the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS) to which both France and the UK are contracting parties. As stated above, the European Commission is responsible for monitoring compliance with obligations under the Euratom Treaty. Contracting parties to the CNS are subject to a three-yearly peer review of their responses to the requirements of the Convention. Both the UK and France participated in the last peer review meeting which was held in April 2002.

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Leg-irons and Cuffs

Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many UK firms that have traditionally manufactured over-sized cuffs and leg-irons been subjected to inspection and investigation by her Department in each year since 1997. [82944]

Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 26 November 2002]: The Export Control Organisation's Compliance Officers visit holders of open licences to establish that the conditions of these licences are being met. One firm that manufactures over-sized handcuffs was visited by Compliance Officers in 1997, 1998 and 1999.

Investigations into alleged breaches of UK export controls are the responsibility of HM Customs and Excise.

Renewable Energy

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of sales licensed electricity suppliers are obliged to obtain from renewable sources; and what proportion they will be obliged to obtain from renewable sources (a) by 1 April 2003 and (b) by 1 April 2011. [85436]

Mr. Wilson: For the current year, the Renewables Obligation is set at 3 per cent. of total electricity sales from licensed electricity suppliers. This will rise to 4.3 per cent. for the period 1 April 2003 to 31 March 2004, and to 10.4 per cent. for 2010–11 and subsequent periods. Suppliers may discharge their Obligation either by themselves supplying renewable electricity to customers in Great Britain, or by producing Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) purchased in the market, or by paying a buy-out price in place of all or part of their Obligation.

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of the electricity generated in the United Kingdom came from renewable energy sources in (a) 2001 and (b) to date in 2002. [85487]

Mr. Wilson: The proportion of electricity generated in the United Kingdom, in 2001 that came from renewable energy sources was 2.6 per cent. Complete data for 2002 will not be available until summer 2003. However, because generation from large scale hydro sources by major power producers in the first three quarters of 2002 was 1.6 TWh higher than in the corresponding period of 2001 and because large scale hydro generation accounts for over 40 per cent. of generation from renewables, it is anticipated that this recovery alone will have raised the renewables percentage in 2002.

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the provisions in force to ensure that exporters of renewable energy goods are protected against the risks of non-payment. [84193]

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Ms Hewitt: ECGD's full range of products is available to UK based capital goods exporters in the renewable energy sector. This includes:


Credit insurance for such exports is also available from private sector providers.

As announced by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in September this year, from April 2003, ECGD will make available cover for at least £50 million of exports each year for projects in the renewables sector which meet its minimum risk standards.

Thailand

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she has concluded a trade deal with Thailand with respect to (a) armaments and (b) poultry. [85475]

Nigel Griffiths: No trade deals have been concluded with Thailand in respect of armaments and poultry.

Universities

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made towards the target set in 1998 to increase by 50 per cent. the number of companies spun out by universities by 2001–02. [83593]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 26 November 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Bercow) on 17 December 2001, Official Report, column 119W.

TRANSPORT

Bus Lanes

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if there is special provision for ministerial cars to use bus lanes in guidelines issued by his Department. [85332]

Mr. Jamieson: The Departmental guidance, Local Transport Note 1/97— Keeping Buses Moving, makes no reference to specific categories of cars.

East Lancashire

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times he has visited east Lancashire in his official capacity; and what the purpose was of each visit. [82399]

Mr. Spellar: None.

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Future Development of Air Transport

Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many completed questionnaires have been returned following the consultation paper (a) The Future Development of Air Transport in the United Kingdom: Midlands and (b) The Future Development of Air Transport in the UK: South East. [84979]

Mr. Jamieson: To date, around 16,000 paper and 1,500 web questionnaires on the Midlands consultation have been returned. The corresponding figures for the south-east are 8,000 over 3,000 respectively.

Manchester Airport

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what throughputs were projected for Manchester Airport's second runway; and what the actual throughput is. [85617]

Mr. Jamieson: It is estimated that by 2030 the throughput of Manchester Airport could range from 40 million passengers per annum (mppa) (if no new terminal capacity is provided) through to 70 mppa (if growth is facilitated and concentrated at Manchester). This equates to the runways handling between 300,000 and 440,000 Air Traffic Movements (ATMs) per annum.

In 2001, Manchester handled 19.1 million passengers and 182,000 ATMs.

Modes of Travel

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what methods he uses to estimate the relative environmental impact of journeys by (a) train, (b) aeroplane and (c) ferry; and if he will make a statement. [85088]

Mr. Jamieson: Environmental impact assessments of different transport modes take into account the full range of environmental matters, including air pollutants, CO2 emissions and noise, the length of journeys and the quantity and type of fuel consumed. There is also consideration of other local emissions sources, background levels of air pollution in the area and the extent to which emissions from the transport modes in question can be dispersed. The impact of infrastructure on the local environment is also assessed.


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