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Electricity Costs

Volume 981: debated on Wednesday 19 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what is the current estimate of the capital cost of (a) the existing and (b) the new nuclear power plant programme announced on 18 December 1979 for each of the years from 1980–81 to 2000–01; what will be the effect of the capital cost on the Central Electricity Generating Board's expenditure during each of those years; and what will be the resulting increase per unit in the bulk supply tariff in each of those years;(2) what estimate he has made of how much each £1,000 million of capital spending on new power plants increases the Central Electricity Generating Board's bulk supply tariff per unit of electricity.

I am advised by the CEGB that the capital cost of its existing programme of four AGR nuclear power stations at actual prices to March 1979, and at expected outurn prices for expenditure to completion, is £1,700 million, including initial nuclear fuel, but excluding interest during construction. The capital cost of the next one or two stations to be built is provisionally estimated to be some £1,000 per kW, although this figure is subject to uncertainty. It is too soon to give specific estimates for subsequent stations, but on current estimates it is expected that the introduction of nuclear stations will in due course give lower generation costs per kWh than would have been the case without them.Questions concerning the bulk supply supply tariff are matters for the CEGB, and I shall ask the chairman to write to the hon. Member.