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18 Mar 2008 : Column 987W—continued


UK Nirex Limited (Nirex) was merged into the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and ceased trading on 31 March 2007.

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority: Assets

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what value is assigned to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s stock of (a) plutonium, (b) reprocessed uranium and (c) depleted uranium from enrichment. [194136]


18 Mar 2008 : Column 988W

Malcolm Wicks: The stocks of plutonium, reprocessed uranium and depleted uranium owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s (NDA) are currently treated as zero value rated assets.

In June 2007 the NDA published a report, “Uranium and Plutonium: Macro-economic study”, which provided an economic analysis of potential future disposition options for the UK’s stocks of nuclear materials. This is available on the NDA website at:

Office for Civil Nuclear Security: Manpower

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether the Office for Civil Nuclear Security is fully staffed. [192820]

Malcolm Wicks: The Office for Civil Nuclear Security has a complement of 31.5 full time equivalent posts. All but two of these are currently filled. A recruitment exercise began on 6 March 2008 to fill the two vacancies.

Overseas Trade: Cyprus and Bermuda

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps he has (a) taken and (b) plans to take to increase trade between the United Kingdom and (i) Cyprus and (ii) Bermuda; how much his Department spent on trade promotion between the United Kingdom and (A) Cyprus and (B) Bermuda in 2006-07; and if he will make a statement. [165726]

Mr. Thomas: UK Trade and Investment provides a range of support to help UK companies do business in Cyprus. Support is offered to companies individually under different programmes, and country specific statistics on spend are not kept.

The Department has no current or future plans to increase trade between the UK and Bermuda.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many officials in his Department and its predecessor work on the promotion of trade between the United Kingdom and (a) Cyprus and (b) Bermuda; and what the equivalent figures were in (i) 1983, (ii) 1987 and (iii) each year between 1998 and 2005. [165727]

Mr. Thomas: Help and advice for companies wishing to trade in Cyprus is delivered by officials responsible for programmes of support which are applicable across Europe and more widely. There has been no resource in BERR or its predecessor Department in the recent past devoted specifically to the promotion of trade between the United Kingdom and Cyprus.

There is no support for companies wishing to do business in Bermuda and no officials in BERR or its predecessor Department are, or have been, engaged on promoting trade between the United Kingdom and Bermuda.


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Press: Advertising

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will bring forward proposals to require the publishers of newspapers and magazines to ensure that companies whose services are referred to in publications by way of (a) advertisement and (b) editorial copy are able to fulfil any legal obligations with regard to the protection of money deposited with them by their clients. [188326]

Malcolm Wicks: The advertiser, or their agent, is primarily responsible for ensuring that marketing communication is legal. A requirement for newspapers and magazines, or other media to act as enforcement agencies in respect of regulation of this sort on those advertising their services would be disproportionate as it would require publishers to be aware of any legal obligations in respect of deposited money for any services that might be advertised, to screen all adverts for the nature of the businesses undertaken by firms placing adverts with them and then to ascertain the ability of the company to meet those obligations. Consequently the Government have no plans to bring forward proposals of this sort.

Renewable Energy

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether his Department is on course to meet the target to (a) source at least 10 per cent. of its electricity from renewables by 31 March 2008 and (b) increase recycling figures to 40 per cent. of waste by 2010. [165934]

Mr. Thomas: The information requested is as follows.

(a) The Department has purchased electricity from renewable sources since 1999. All HQ buildings are supplied with green electricity where the Department is responsible for the purchase of electricity supply which compares favourably to the Sustainable Development target for energy target which is to buy 10 per cent. by 2008.

(b) BERR has implemented various initiatives for meeting the Sustainable Development target for waste and recycling. The percentage of total waste arisings from the HQ estate sent for recycling was 55.1 per cent. against a target of 40 per cent. by 2010.

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the potential electricity generating capacity of (a) wind power, (b) solar photovoltaics and (c) geothermal technologies in the UK; and if he will make statement. [192947]

Malcolm Wicks: The Department assessed the potential for offshore wind power in Future Offshore—a Strategic Framework for the Offshore Wind Industry. The potential wind resource around England, Wales and Scotland—assuming the installation of three-megawatt turbines at a separation distance of 500 metres and with a load factor of 40 per cent.—is 919 gigawatts.


18 Mar 2008 : Column 990W

A number of external studies have estimated the potential onshore wind resource. However, Government have not made a formal estimate of the possible electricity generation capacity from this source as we believe that it should be for the market to identify potential sites and bring forward appropriate projects that are economic, with support from the renewables obligation.

We commissioned a study on the potential for microgeneration completed in 2005. Further information on this can be found at:

We have recently commissioned research which is due to be completed by spring 2008 which will quantify the future potential of microgeneration of wind power, solar photovoltaics and geothermal (by geothermal we assume you are referring to ground source heat pumps).

We will be considering the available evidence and commissioning further work as necessary as part of developing the renewable energy strategy.

Renewable Energy: Standards

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the answer of 29 October 2007, Official Report, columns 708-9W, on renewable energy: standards, what modelling his Department has conducted on how the UK can meet its share of the EU target of 20 per cent. of energy from renewables by 2020; if he will publish the results; and if he will make a statement. [192932]

Malcolm Wicks: In response to the European proposal for a directive on the promotion and use of energy from renewable sources, the Government have recently published research undertaken by Poyry Energy Consultants for BERR (

This research models renewable technologies in 2020, and presents the least cost technology approach to meeting the renewable energy target set out in the Directive.

Agreement has not yet been reached on the contribution that each member state will make toward the 20 per cent. target, but we will consult in the summer on what more we should do to increase renewable energy use to meet the UK's contribution. We will publish our full renewable energy strategy in spring 2009 once the EU directive has been agreed.

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform with reference to the answer of 29 October 2007, Official Report, columns 708-9W, on renewable energy: standards, what work his Department has conducted on the (a) cost and (b) policy consequences of meeting the UK's likely share of the EU target of 20 per cent. of energy from renewables by 2020; if he will publish this work; and if he will make a statement. [192957]

Malcolm Wicks: In response to the European proposal for a directive on the promotion and use of energy from renewable sources, the Government have
18 Mar 2008 : Column 991W
recently published research undertaken by Poyry Energy Consultants for BERR

This research models renewable technologies in 2020, and presents the least cost technology approach to meeting the renewable energy target set out in the Directive.

Agreement has not yet been reached on the contribution that each member state will make toward the 20 per cent. target, but we will consult in the summer on what more we should do to increase renewable energy use to meet the UK's contribution. We will publish our full renewable energy strategy in spring 2009 once the EU Directive has been agreed.

Sellafield: Plutonium

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many shipments of plutonium have been made from Sellafield to France in 2008; which transporter vessels were used; what security protection was in place for each carrier; and what notification of plutonium movements was given to foreign governments. [194267]


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Malcolm Wicks: There have been no such shipments.

Small Businesses

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many small companies registered in each region in each year since 1999; and how many have registered in 2007-08 to date. [186192]

Malcolm Wicks: VAT registration data provides the only accurate indicator of the level of business start-up activity.

The number of new VAT registrations in each region and country are shown below for 1999 to 2006. Data for VAT registrations and de-registrations in 2007 will be available autumn 2008.

Only data for businesses of all sizes registered for VAT is published by BERR. However, it is estimated that the majority (97.9 per cent.) of these will be small (with fewer than 50 employees) and 1.7 per cent. will be medium-sized (with 50-249 employees). It is not possible to establish the proportion of these businesses that will be companies, rather than other legal forms.

Table 1: New VAT registrations by region, 1999 to 2006
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

North East

4,185

4,275

4,180

4,390

4,900

4,460

4,665

4,630

North West

16,875

17,155

16,485

17,385

19,005

18,080

17,940

17,920

Yorkshire and the Humber

11,740

12,005

11,665

12,440

13,840

13,060

12,935

12,900

East Midlands

11,185

11,615

11,250

11,970

12,835

12,385

12,240

12,320

West Midlands

14,445

14,595

14,120

14,600

15,810

15,160

14,785

14,800

East

16,845

17,630

16,655

17,820

18,735

17,815

17,955

17,495

London

36,210

36,330

33,400

32,955

35,750

35,320

34,875

34,825

South East

28,820

28,830

27,250

28,655

30,755

28,795

28,380

28,680

South West

15,330

15,380

14,455

15,555

16,625

15,495

15,220

15,745

England

155,630

157,815

149,460

155,770

168,250

160,565

158,995

159,315

Wales

6,120

6,290

6,025

6,430

7,145

7,040

6,625

6,625

Scotland

11,505

11,345

10,980

11,130

11,980

11,980

11,665

11,825

Northern Ireland

3,660

3,455

3,550

3,590

3,845

4,200

4,450

4,445

UK

176,915

178,905

170,015

176,920

191,220

183,780

181,735

182,205

Source:
Business start-ups and closures: VAT registrations and de-registrations in 2006 available at: http://stats.berr.gov.uk/ed/vat/index.htm

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