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Nuclear Power Stations

Volume 127: debated on Thursday 11 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is his policy towards the provision of funds to objectors and section 34 parties at the forthcoming public inquiry into Central Electricity Generating Board plans to build a pressurised water nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point C.

The Select Committee on Energy's recent report on the Electricity Generating Stations and Overhead Lines (Inquiries Procedure) Rules 1987 raised the issue of funding for objectors at public inquiries. The Government will respond to this report as soon as possible. The hon. Member will know that the Government have hitherto taken the view that the funding of the objectors would not improve the efficiency of public inquiries.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he has any plans to commission a public opinion survey of national and regional acceptance of nuclear station siting in the United Kingdom, in the light of the recently published study by the Health and Safety Executive on the tolerability of risks from nuclear power stations.

No. The Health and Safety Executive have produced a careful study, on which the Health and Safety Commission have invited considered comments.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make it his policy to invite the International Atomic Energy Agency operational review safety team to (a) review the technical necessity and (b) be present at any future experimental test at a Magnox reactor of the type presently postponed at Trawsfynydd.

We fully support the development of the International Atomic Energy Agency's OSART missions. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has invited the agency to send such a mission to visit a United Kingdom nuclear plant. Details will be announced in due course. However, the objectives of OSART missions do not include the examination of specific porposals for tests, which are a matter between the plant operators and the regulatory authority.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make it his policy to be present at any future experimental test at a Magnox plant of the type presently postponed at Trawsfynydd.

I would consider at the time if there was any advantage to my being present at such a test.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will seek to obtain for his departmental library transcripts of the three BBC2 "Brass Tacks" programmes on nuclear power, broadcast in October 1987.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what information he possesses on the resolution and vote in the European Parliament on 21 January on the proposed Central Electricity Generating Board experimental test at the Trawsfynydd Magnox reactor.

I am arranging for a copy of the text of the resolution to be placed in the Library of the House. It was carried by a majority of 24.