HC Deb 08 December 1964 vol 703 cc1305-6
7. Mr. McNair-Wilson

asked the Minister of Power whether the White Paper, the Second Nuclear Power Programme, Command Paper No. 2335, remains the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

8. Mr. Peyton

asked the Minister of Power if he will make a statement on the future nuclear programme in the electricity industry.

16. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Minister of Power whether the Government have yet completed their review, with the electricity supply industry and the Atomic Energy Authority, of the type or types of reactor to be built in the second nuclear power programme; and what decision has been reached.

Mr. Frederick Lee

I would refer the hon. Members to the reply I gave my hon. Friend—the Member for Bristol, Central (Mr. Palmer) on 1st December.

Mr. McNair-Wilson

Can the Minister tell us whether any progress is being made in finding a reactor to replace the Magnox system at present being used, because this is very important to the programme as a whole?

Mr. Lee

As the hon. Gentleman knows, there are decisions to be taken about the types of the reactor to be used. At this stage it is impossible to give a precise date when we will have these tenders, but the Government are keeping in close touch with the progress that is being made in this matter, and as soon as possible I shall inform the House.

Mr. Digby

Can the right hon. Gentleman say how many tenders have been received for the AGR type of reactor and how many for the water moderated type of reactor, and when we can expect a final answer on this, as the White Paper was laid in April?

Mr. Lee

Tenders will be received in February, but before receipt I cannot say for which type of reactor they are going to tender.

Mr. Peyton

Is the Minister saying that we shall have to wait at any rate until February before we hear anything on this important matter? I hope that he will do everything that he can to clear up this damaging uncertainty.

Mr. Lee

The date for the receipt of tenders is February, and, as the hon. Gentleman knows from his experience, until we get the tenders we cannot anticipate the sort of reactors for which they are going to tender.