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Power Stations (Environmental Import)

Volume 127: debated on Thursday 11 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what are the implications for (a) the Sizewell B pressurised water reactor project, (b) the proposed Hinkley C pressurised water reactor project, (c) the proposed European demonstration reprocessing plant at Dounreay, (d) the thermal oxide reprocessing plant at Sellafield, (e) the planned coal-fired power station at Fawley, (f) the proposed Severn barrage tidal energy project and (g) any plans for a nuclear waste repository chosen by Nirex, of the new EEC regulation for environmental impact assessments, due to come into force on 3 July.

The sole purpose of the EC directive is to ensure that as from 3 July 1988 the environmental implications of major new developments are carefully examined in a fashion consistent throughout the Community, before consent is given to their construction. Such assessments have been undertaken for major energy developments, including those referred to by the hon. Member, in the United Kingdom for many years within the framework of planning law. Existing procedures will be brought into line with the directive's requirements. These will apply to developments for which planning or other consent is sought after 3 July. The directive does not apply to planning or consent applications submitted before that date.