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Mr. Mike O'Brien: There is not a new assessment of the issue, however with respect to nuclear safety at civil sites in the UK, this is the responsibility of the operators who are regulated by the Health and Safety Executive's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate. The UK has in place a stringent regulatory regime which provides for the application of high standards of safety aimed both at minimising radiation exposures from normal operations and at preventing major accidental releases of radioactivity at nuclear installations.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is nominated lead Minister under National Response Plan arrangements in the unlikely event of a nuclear accident overseas. The UK has in place measures for the early notification of an accident overseas and contingency plans to deal with such an event.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what role the UK Government played in (a) reviewing and (b) approving the security arrangements provided by the United States and France aboard the Pacific Teal and Pacific Pintail. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: As UK-flagged vessels were used, the UK Government were responsible for the security of the shipment in international waters. At those times when the vessels were within the territorial waters of the United States and France, the main responsibility for the protection of the shipment rested with the United States and France respectively. The on-board security arrangements at these times were reviewed by the Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS) with US/French authorities and were approved as part of the overall Transport Security Plan for the voyage.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the cost was (a) of investigations and (b) in administration to the UK Government in preparation for the transport of plutonium from the United States to France aboard the Pacific Teal and Pacific Pintail. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien:
A number of Government Departments were involved in the planning for the shipment, although the bulk of the costs were incurred
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by my officials, particularly in the Office for Civil Nuclear Safety (OCNS), who reviewed, co-ordinated and eventually approved the Transport Security Plan for the voyage. OCNS costs will be recovered by BNFL.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the transport ships, Pacific Teal and Pacific Pintail, were operating on Government service in recent movement of plutonium from the US to France. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The shipment of plutonium between the United States and France using British registered PNTL ships was a commercial matter between the countries and organisations involved. The Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS) approved the security plan for the voyage whilst the ships were in international waters.
Mr. Sutcliffe: Information is not available in the format requested. I understand however from the Department for Work and Pensions that the latest information as to how many people have applied for a Post Office Card Account is available in the Library.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the planned Government expenditure on research and development is in each financial year from 200506 to 200910; what the expenditure is on (a) civil and (b) defence in each year; and what the planned Indicative UK contribution is to the European Union budget. 
Nigel Griffiths: Planned Government expenditure on research and development (R and D) in 200506 is £9,293 million (in cash terms). Of this, £6,400 million is civil R and D and £2,894 million is defence R and D.
The Office for National Statistics collects data on Government expenditure on research and development via their GOVERD survey. Government Departments and Research Councils report on actual expenditures in the previous financial year, estimated expenditure in the current year and planned expenditure in the two subsequent years. Hence the latest year for which reliable, detailed projections currently exist is 200506.
The 2005 EC budget has not yet been adopted, the preliminary draft budget indicates a UK gross contribution of 17.91 per cent. before abatement. UK contributions to the EC budget for the period 2006 to 2010 will depend on a number of factors, including the size of the budget in these years, Traditional Own Resources, VAT and GNI-based payments and the UK abatement.
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Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 30 November 2004]: The development of renewable energy in the South West benefits from the range of initiatives which my Department has put in place to support delivery of the Government's target for 10 per cent. of UK electricity supply in 2010 to come from renewable sources. They include:
In addition, my Department has supported key regional partners (South West Regional Development Agency, Government Office for the South West, South West Regional Assembly) in the development of a regional renewable energy strategy for the South West of England. This sets targets for renewable energy in the region and contains an action plan showing how regional partners will work together to deliver them. A renewables agency, RegenSW, has been established in the region to oversee delivery of the strategy.
Mr. Sutcliffe: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has not commissioned any recent research concerning ownership of retail outlets in the high street. Competition issues raised about ownership of retail outlets are a matter for the independent competition authorities to consider.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions her Department has had with the Office of Fair Trading concerning the investigation of actions by the five major supermarkets in relation to their small and medium-sized competitors. 
The OFT is currently carrying out an independent audit of the Supermarket Code of Practice. That audit is also examining Supermarkets dealings with their suppliers, and we expect the OFT to announce its findings shortly. It would not be appropriate for me to comment in advance of those findings.
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Mr. Sutcliffe: Ministers receive a range of representations from members of the public, MPs and other stakeholders on issues related to supermarkets. Any competition issues raised in this sector are a matter for the independent competition authorities.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what financial provision has been made for the UK High Technology Fund in each year since its inception; and what the uptake was in each year. 
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