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Sizewell B

Volume 113: debated on Monday 30 March 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy what representations he has received since he announced his decision on the Sizewell B nuclear power station.

My right hon. Friend and I have received 36 letters about Sizewell B following the announcement of his decision.

Notwithstanding that answer, does the Minister accept that there is widespread public concern about the safety aspects of PWRs? Many people are not convinced that the project is in the best energy interests of the country and also do not believe that the economic case is correct.

I regret to say that the hon. Gentleman is quite wrong. The decision has been broadly welcomed. The effect that he mentioned was not evident in our debate on nuclear power last week, when the hon. Member for Midlothian (Mr. Eadie) was alone on the Labour Benches and made Horatio on the bridge look like a team player.

In view of my hon. Friend's interesting answer, does he agree that either the information provided by the hon. Member for Burnley (Mr. Pike)—namely, that there is widespread public concern about Sizewell—is incorrect, or that concern is expressed only among the illiterate?

Does the Minister accept the view put forward by the chairman of the Central Electricity Generating Board that the Sizewell decision has opened the way to a family of PWRs, or does he accept the Layfield view that Sizewell presents an opportunity to test the claims made on behalf of PWRs?

As yet, my right hon. Friend has received no further applications. He will consider each one on its merits.