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Power Stations

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 29 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what research his Department has undertaken on the capacity of existing power station sites in the UK to accommodate (a) nuclear new build and (b) renewable technologies. (168174)

As part of the Government's preparations for the 2006 Energy Review report, the Department commissioned Jackson Consulting to produce a discussion paper looking at the issues that would be relevant to the siting of any new nuclear power stations. The paper included a preliminary assessment of the suitability of existing nuclear power station sites for any new build and also included the suggestion that opportunities for new build might exist at other power station sites. The paper, which represents the views of the authors Jackson Consulting alone, was published by the Department on its website on 23 May 2007 as a background paper to the Government's consultation on the future of nuclear power.

The Department is currently considering responses to the consultation on nuclear power. If the Government were to confirm their preliminary view that it would be in the public interest to allow private sector energy companies the option of investing in new nuclear power stations, we have proposed to undertake a strategic siting assessment (SSA), in combination with a strategic environmental assessment, to develop robust, objective and transparent criteria for assessing the suitability of sites for new nuclear power stations.

On renewables, in July 2006 the Department published on its website a study by IPA and Mitsui Babcock into the economics of co-firing, the ability of existing fossil fuel stations to burn a proportion of biomass to generate electricity.