HC Deb 16 July 1962 vol 663 cc27-8
36. Mr. Warbey

asked the Minister of Power whether, in view of the fact that should the United Kingdom join Euratom under the treaty establishing it the Central Electricity Generating Board will, after 1967, be dependent on the Euratom Agency for supplies of nuclear fuel fox its reactors, he will take steps to ensure that the Board will be enabled to build up stocks of such fuels in advance of this situation.

Mr. Wood

No, Sir. There is no reason to believe that supplies of fuel for nuclear power stations would be adversely affected by our joining Euratom.

Mr. Warbey

Is it not the case that under the Treaty, after 1967 the Central Electricity Generating Board will not be able to combine supplies of nuclear fuels, even home-produced ones, without the permission of the Agency and except through the Agency's instrumentation and at the prices which it determines? Is it not the case that by entering Euratom, we shall be placing the whole of our future nuclear power programme, its development and its pricing at the mercy of the Agency and the Commission of Euratom?

Mr. Wood

The hon. Member has asked me to allow the Generating Board to build up stocks of uranium. In fact, the Atomic Energy Authority holds stocks of this, which is the fuel used in nuclear generation, and the Article which, I believe, the hon. Member has in mind does not apply to it. It is certainly true that we shall have to get a lot of clarification of various matters during the negotiations. I remind the hon. Member, however, that the object of the Community is to promote the growth of nuclear industries and not to hamper them. Therefore, I do not share the worries which the hon. Member has expressed.