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12 Oct 2005 : Column 514W—continued

Energy Industry Funding

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what Government funding was allocated to (a) the nuclear industry, (b) the renewables sector and (c) carbon capture and abatement in each year since 2001. [15048]

Malcolm Wicks: Allocated Government funding is given in the following table. The DTI is also providing a funding package of £40 million to support new demonstration projects for carbon abatement technologies and hydrogen over the next three to four years.
Government funding allocation

Figures for direct Government expenditure (but not including spending by the Research Councils) on nuclear fission2.0 million2. 1 million2.1 million2.2 million
Research council spend on nuclear fission0.3 million0.3 million0.2 million0.1 million
Research council spend on nuclear fusion14.4 million14.6 million15.6 million19.5 million
DTI New and Renewable Energy Programme7.2 million13.1 million13.7 million11. 7 million
DTI Capital Grant Programmes—renewables (capital Grants Programme started in 2002)01.2 million4.3 million25.8 million
Research council spend (renewables excluding carbon sequestration)10.3 million10.7 million12.0 million12.8 million
DTI Clean Coal Programme4.4 million3.0 million5.0 million(15)6.5 million
Research council spend on carbon sequestration41.60077.80030.30042.500
Defra CHP Programme2.8 million1.6 million2.5 million2.0 million

(15) Estimated.
All figures are rounded to one decimal place.

Nuclear Power

Mr. Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate the Government have made of nuclear power contribution to electricity generation in (a) five, (b) 10 and (c) 15 years. [15660]

Malcolm Wicks: The most recent estimate the Government have made regarding the contribution that nuclear generation will make to overall electricity generation for 2010 is given in the DTI's updated emissions projections, November 2004, which is available on the DTI website at www.dti.

Projections for nuclear generation in 2015 and 2020 are presented in the DTI publication Energy Paper 68: Energy projections for the UK, available on the DTI website at

The projections given for electricity generated from nuclear are:
Projections of electricity generated

(a) 2010(16)18
(b) 2015(16)10
(c) 2020(16)7

(16) Around

Mr. Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he had with British Energy on measures to promote nuclear power. [15661]

Malcolm Wicks: As part of normal business, the Department has had various discussions with British Energy and other electricity providers on a wide range of issues. During those discussions, British Energy have given us their views on the contribution nuclear power
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can make to meeting policy objectives and the issues that might need to be addressed for the longer term—as have a wide range of other companies and organizations.

Mr. Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans the Government have to build additional nuclear power stations. [15662]

Malcolm Wicks: The 2003 Energy White Paper makes it clear that the Government's priority is to strengthen the contribution that energy efficiency and renewable energy sources make towards meeting our carbon commitment. It therefore makes no proposals to build new nuclear power stations; but the possibility of new nuclear build at some point in the future is not ruled out.

We have also given the commitment that before any decision to proceed with the building of new nuclear power stations, there would need to be the fullest public consultation and the publication of a White Paper setting out the Government's proposals.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he intends to have a nuclear material tracking regime that promptly detects primary containment failure or misdirection of material installed into all relevant parts of the Sellafield Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant; and if he will make a statement. [15681]

Malcolm Wicks: All civil nuclear facilities, including those at Sellafield, operate within agreed and documented safety cases. These are rigorously regulated by the Health and Safety Executive's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII). The operational licensing of the facilities includes consideration of the adequacy of control and containment of nuclear material.

Following the incident at the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP) in April, the British Nuclear Group Board of Inquiry made a number of recommendations, including the enhancement of systems for nuclear material tracking. Management are responding to these recommendations.

Independently of the published Board of Inquiry report, the NII is conducting its own review of the event, the findings of which it will make public. The NII will then pursue with the licensee, British Nuclear Fuels (Sellafield) Ltd. and with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority any recommendations emerging from its findings.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the cost was of civil nuclear reactors generating electricity in the last year for which figures are available, broken down by the cost of (a) maintenance, (b) staff salaries, (c) security, (d) transport of radioactive materials, (e) radioactive waste removal, (f) radioactive waste storage, (g) cost of purchasing nuclear fuel, (h) radioactive accidents, (i) non-radioactive accidents and (j) accident insurance. [15692]

Malcolm Wicks: The UK civil nuclear reactors are operated by Magnox and British Energy.
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The figures for Magnox are as follows:
Cost (£000)

Staff Salaries17,49719,96218,63121,47677,566
Radioactive Materials Transport7016857962,1494,331
Radioactive Waste Removal409103103342957
Radioactive Waste Storage0
Purchase of Nuclear Fuel1,4062,4051,3176,57011,698
Radioactive Accidents0
Non-Radioactive Accidents0
Accident Insurance5036427131,4363,294

1. Security data are restricted.
2. There are no significant costs of radioactive materials storage at operational sites.
3. There is no subjective analysis of Accident costs. Given the good safety performance of reactor site, these will be insignificant.
4. Costs are 2004–05 actuals in 2004–05 money values.
5. The totals DO NOT equate to the total operating costs of these sites.

British Energy plc owns and operates the newer advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGRs) and the pressurised water reactor (PWR). Costs associated with running these reactors are therefore a matter for British Energy. The company has recently published its preliminary results for 2004–05 and these may contain some of this information (

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects the Sellafield Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant to return to normal operational service; and if he will make a statement. [15693]

Malcolm Wicks: The future of the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP) at Sellafield has not yet been decided. The plant will only reopen if the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) approves a safety case. The NII are progressing with further investigations which will result in a separate report on the THORP incident. The Government will then form a view in the light of the recommendations in the NII report.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the latest estimate is at 2005 prices of the total costs of construction for UK civil nuclear reactor facilities, broken down by the costs of (a) planning, (b) research, (c) physical construction of reactors and associated nuclear facilities, (d) prototype reactors, (e) licensing reactor designs, (f) construction site preparation and (g) construction site purchase. [15698]

Malcolm Wicks: The Government have not made their own estimates for the construction of nuclear power facilities. Proposals for new nuclear build are a matter for the private sector.
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However, we are aware of estimates of new nuclear build costs by organisations such as the Royal Academy of Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Chicago.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps have been taken to ensure that the leaked radioactive material from the recent accident at Sellafield Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant is stored safely in the (a) short and (b) long-term; and where radioactive material will be permanently stored. [15699]

Malcolm Wicks: The situation within the concrete cell remains safe and secure and the recovery of all liquid back into primary containment has been completed. The liquid recovered is currently being held in designated storage tanks.

It is anticipated that the material will undergo reprocessing in the same way as other fuels that are reprocessed in THORP. Consequently the storage arrangements will be the same as for other reprocessed fuels.

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