|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will give (a) the date and (b) the location of ministerial visits to nuclear installations that (i) have taken place in the past six months and (ii) are planned for the next three months. 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 17 October 2005]: I visited Sellafield on 25 July. My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Competitiveness visited Sellafield on 5 September, and Dounreay on 19 September. No other visits to nuclear installations have been undertaken by Ministers of this Department in the past six months, and none are planned for the next three months.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the capacity of the national grid to accommodate new wind turbines; what that capacity is; and at what percentage of that capacity the grid is operating. 
Malcolm Wicks: The DTI and Carbon Trust Renewables Network Impacts Study (April 2004) stated that there are no major technical barriers to connecting expected rising levels of new wind turbines to the national grid by 2010 (7.6 per cent. by system demand) and 2020 (14.2 per cent. by system demand).
The report also concludes that the costs associated with intermittency to achieve the 2010 target are modest. These costs would fall to the wind power generator. The costs are more significant for the 2020 aspiration due to the amount of reserve the system needs to carry. Intermittency has to be managed but surplus capacity is always maintained in case of plant failure for all technology.
Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what his Department's projection of UK continental shelf oil and gas production as measured in billion barrels of oil equivalent is up to the year 2030. 
Malcolm Wicks: DTI does not project production as far ahead as 2030. The Department's latest published UK continental shelf (UKCS) production projections (at http://www.og.dti.gov.uk/information/bb_updates/chapters/Section4_17.htm) extend to only 2010. However, DTI does publish annually (at http://www.og.dti.gov.uk/information/bb_updates/chapters/reserves_index.htm) estimates of recoverable UKCS oil and gas reserves. These identify reserves remaining in existing discoveries, classified according to the probability of their development, and estimates of resources in as-yet-undiscovered fields. As at the start of 2005, perhaps 22 to 28 billion barrels of oil equivalent were expected to remain. How much of that oil and gas will be produced will depend on future activity levels, which are uncertain, but it seems likely that the large majority of the UK's hydrocarbon resources will have been extracted by 2030.
Alun Michael: Since its formation in 1999, One NorthEast has created/safeguarded 86,607 jobs and helped 17,029 business start-ups and established companies with specific projects. It has supported and driven key projects in the region, including the regeneration of the Newcastle/Gateshead Quayside; investing £200 million in a Strategy for Success to promote new technologies, and led the regeneration of areas of once redundant industrial land, such as the £500 million Middlehaven project in Middlesbrough.
Peter Law: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the nuclear materials accountancy system at British Nuclear Fuels Thorp reprocessing plant at Sellafield is designed to track nuclear material on a real time basis. 
Malcolm Wicks: Nuclear materials accountancy is used at UK nuclear sites to help meet statutory domestic regulations and international safeguards requirements. International safeguards requirements include the timely detection of diversion of civil nuclear material. This timeliness is a function of material type and form. Some nuclear installations therefore operate 'near real time materials accountancy' to meet this safeguards requirement. The Thorp chemical plant design included the application of statistical analysis techniques at regular intervals to its nuclear material accountancy data. This 'near real time materials accountancy' was not designed for process control and is distinct from systems for monitoring the safety and security at the plant.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what (a) polling and (b) focus groups on nuclear power his Department has undertaken in the last three years ;and if he will place copies of the results in the Library. 
These papers were placed in the Libraries of the House at the start for this year in response to a written parliamentary question from the then hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Llew Smith) on 23 February 2005, Official Report, column 648W.
Malcolm Wicks: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 10 October 2005, Official Report, column 160W by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Climate Change and Environment to the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker).
Alan Johnson: The Department does not record centrally all volunteering activities undertaken by its staff. However, the Department allows staff at least one day of paid leave a year to participate in voluntary opportunities. In recent years groups of staff have undertaken a range of volunteering challenges including 25 staff working on a project at a London adventure playground, 40 volunteers involved in an education and employment project, and this year 70 DTI staff members have worked on two other volunteering projects.
Mr. Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether a regulatory body will be put in place to ensure producers comply with the responsibilities of the waste electrical and electronic equipment directive. 
Malcolm Wicks: Compliance with the requirements of the waste electrical and electronic equipment regulations in England and Wales will primarily be monitored by the Environment Agency (England and Wales). In Scotland responsibility will be with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and in Northern Ireland it will be the Northern Ireland Environment and Heritage Service.
Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects the producer responsibility element of the European directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment to be implemented. 
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|