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Nuclear Power

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the costs of security for UK civil nuclear reactors was in each year since 1975, broken down by the costs of (a) hiring private sector security personnel to protect reactor facilities, (b) mobilising UK armed forces and police forces to protect reactor facilities, (c) testing the security of reactor facilities, (d) monitoring the security of reactor facilities and (e) assessing the security of reactor facilities. [15694]

Malcolm Wicks: Such cost figures are not collated centrally. Responsibility for security measures, and for meeting their costs, rests with the operators. Responsibility for ensuring that nuclear operators provide adequate and robust security is regulated by the Office for Civil Nuclear Security. The costs of this regulation, borne by the industry, can be found in the Director of Civil Nuclear Security's recently published fourth annual report, which is available in the Libraries of the House.

The ownership and management arrangements for civil nuclear reactors, as well as the number in operation, have changed significantly since 1975. The arrangements and the organisations involved in assuring and monitoring civil nuclear security have also changed. Importantly, the threat, especially from terrorism, has changed. Security measures and procedures have had to adapt to meet the changing situation.
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Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects a White Paper to be issued on the future of nuclear power in the United Kingdom. [16416]

Malcolm Wicks: My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister recently announced that the Government would bring forward proposals on energy policy next year. The analysis of options will include an assessment of civil nuclear power. Government have stated 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 if he will list EU countries (a) which have indicated a commitment to an increase in the number of nuclear fission plants and (b) which have a policy to phase out nuclear power generation. [17186]

Malcolm Wicks: Finland and France have announced their intention to build new reactors, but we do not hold information on the current policy of other member states.

Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if his Department will require the Department for Trade and Industry to segregate accounts relating to (a) commercial activities and (b) decommissioning activities of the nuclear power sectors. [17284]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 13 October 2005]: The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) assumed responsibility for the decommissioning and clean up of the UK's civil nuclear legacy on 1 April 2005 and has responsibility for nuclear sites (20 in all) previously operated by UKAEA and BNFL. The NDA's funding is about £2.2 billion per annum: half of this is from Her Majesty's Treasury and half commercial income derived from continued plant operations (Magnox nuclear power stations, fuel production and nuclear fuel reprocessing at Sellafield). The NDA will ensure transparency in its accounts for 2005–06 in respect of nuclear clean up, and commercial activities. Information relating to British Energy and British Nuclear Fuels plc is set out in their respective accounts which follow UK GAAP disciplines.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the lifecycle carbon emissions of a nuclear fission plant; and if he will make a statement. [17345]

Malcolm Wicks: The Department has undertaken no assessment of the lifecycle carbon emissions of a nuclear fission plant.

Ocean-generated Energy

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment the Government have made of the Ocean WaveMaster Ltd. technology for energy generation, trialled by Manchester university; and what further resources are available for more extensive ocean trials. [15025]

Malcolm Wicks: The Ocean WaveMaster Ltd. technology has been assessed under the DTI's Technology Programme.
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The Technology Programme provides grant funding for the research, development and demonstration of wave and tidal stream technologies up to and including single full-scale prototype. Since 1999 around £25 million has been committed to this area.

In addition, the DTI's Wave and Tidal Stream Energy Demonstration Scheme (subject to state aids approval)

will provide £42 million to support the first multi-device wave and tidal stream demonstrations.

Oil Prices

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what forecast has been made of oil barrel prices by the International Energy Agency in each year since 1980; and what the actual price was for each year for which forecasts had been made. [17183]

Malcolm Wicks: The IEA does not forecast prices. The IEA publishes forecasts of the fundamentals which could influence the price of a barrel of crude oil, such as the balance of supply and demand. This is as part of its remit to encourage transparent markets to ensure it functions in an efficient and stable manner.

However, the IEA does produce medium and long term supply and demand forecasts based on price scenarios, where the balance of supply and demand are examined under different price assumptions. These scenarios take into account the current price, together with the cost of production and prospects for economic growth, but do not represent a price forecast.

Patent Applications

Mr. Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State forTrade and Industry what the Government's policy is on patent applications that may threaten national security. [15378]

Alan Johnson: Patents legislation allows Government to withhold from publication any patent application that it considers contains information which might be prejudicial to national security or public safety.

Power Lines (Burial Costs)

Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent estimate he has made of the cost of burying power lines in England and Wales. [17249]

Malcolm Wicks: To bury the high voltage transmission system would cost approximately £109,000 million. The cost to underground the associated distribution networks would additionally be in the order of £32,000 million. The total cost would therefore be in the order of £141,000 million. Other additional costs due to the re-engineering of the existing system to accommodate only underground cables would further inflate these figures.

Private Finance Initiatives

Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what steps he is taking to ensure that
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the private finance initiative projects for which his Department is responsible create the minimum of environmental damage; [16254]

(2) what assessment his Department has made of the sustainability and environmental impacts of (a) the private finance initiative projects for which his Department is responsible and (b) the effectiveness of the private finance initiative process in delivering environmentally sustainable projects for his Department; [16255]

(3) what plans he has to make private finance initiative contracts for which his Department is responsible more accountable and transparent in terms of environmental sustainability. [16256]

Alan Johnson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 25 May 2005, Official Report, column 1496W, to the hon. Member for Lewes (Mr. Baker) that sets out the Government's policy on sustainability in relation to PFI/PPP projects. This is the policy that the Department would follow for future PFI/PPP projects.

The Department is responsible for long standing PFI/PPP projects—one relating to the Department's IT provision (Elgar) and the other a concession agreement (Constructionline) to operate a prequalification service for companies wishing to undertake public sector construction work. Currently it has no plans for future PFI/PPP projects.

In regard to Elgar, the Department's agreement with the PFI provider includes a green housekeeping policy that defines the mechanisms for ensuring environmental sustainability. This is followed by the PFI provider when undertaking is procurement activities under the agreement. The provider has programmes in place to ensure that the most environmentally friendly products are provided to the market place. It has a formal policy to address disposal and recycling of IT equipment that complies with EU Directives and EN ISO 9001–2000. In relation to Constructionline, the prequalification questionnaire asks companies to provide details of their environmental policies and any quality standards met so that clients can take these details into account in establishing long and short lists for tenders.

The Department is satisfied that the processes in place for its current projects meet environmental objectives.

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the Answer of 13 June 2005, Official Report, column 83W, on private finance projects, what total value of assets and liabilities for each of the listed private finance initiatives and public private partnerships is recorded on the Government Balance Sheet; what proportion of assets and liabilities is listed; what the accounting treatment is for assets and liabilities; and whether it is compatible with (a) generally-accepted accounting practices and (b) international financial reporting standards. [15962]

Alan Johnson: The two PFI projects for which my Department is responsible do not appear on the Department's (and therefore the Government's) balance sheet. The balance sheet treatment of the Department's PFI/PPP projects is determined by the National Audit Office following Generally Accepted
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Accounting Practice, in accordance with Financial Reporting Standards issued by the independent Accounting Standards Board.

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