Skip to main content

"The Prospects For Coal"

Volume 222: debated on Thursday 2 April 1992

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what information he has received from Nuclear Electric plc and Scottish Nuclear in regard to the prospects for improvement in performance of existing nuclear reactors to which reference is made in the White Paper "The Prospects for Coal", Cm. 2235, at paragraph 7.66.

I have received appropriate information from Nuclear Electric to allow me to discharge my responsibilities as shareholder. One of the formal objectives set by Government for Nuclear Electric is that the company should achieve a continued increase in electricity generation, provided that this is economically justified. The means by which Nuclear Electric fulfils this objective, including improvements in the performance of existing nuclear stations, is a management matter for the company.Scottish Nuclear Limited is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will specify those organisations or individuals to which reference is made in the White Paper "The Prospects for Coal", Cm. 2235, at paragraphs 7.68 to 7.70, which are respectively in favour of (a) reducing the current nuclear component and (b) maintaining the current nuclear component in electricity generation.

As the White Paper makes clear, the principal organisations advocating a reduction in the nuclear component in electricity generation were those representing coal mining interests, supported to some extent by consumer groups, environmental groups and the privatised generators. Those who advocated maintaining the nuclear component included the major players in the nuclear industry together with unions and employers' groups and some academics. However, many organisations and individuals discussed the role of nuclear generation as one among a number of issues in their evidence.A list of all those who submitted evidence forms an appendix to the White Paper, and copies of the evidence are available in the Library.

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what consideration he gave to increasing the target for combined heat and power beyond 2,000 MW by the year 2000, in preparation of paragraph 8.24 of his White Paper "The Prospects for Coal", Cm 2235.

The existing target for combined heat and power, which represented a doubling of capacity by the year 2000, was set on the basis of market potential in 1990. My Department, in consultation with the Department of the Environment and others, will be reviewing this target when we have more experience of the developments which are taking place within the new structure of the electricity supply industry.