HC Deb 23 April 1968 vol 763 cc9-10
31. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Power what are the series of studies being held regarding the proposed power station at Seaton Carew; and by whom the studies are being carried out.

Mr. Gunter

These studies cover the need for new power stations to meet the expected load; the relative costs to the economy of production from coal and nuclear power; and the effect of power station orders on the economy and on the industries concerned. They are being carried out by my Department in consultation with the other Departments concerned.

Mr. Willey

In view of the public concern and debate about this power station, will my right hon. Friend assure me that when a decision is taken he will make available the full facts on which it is based?

Mr. Gunter

Yes, Sir. That will be done.

Mr. Shinwell

Is my right hon. Friend aware that we in the North-East are particularly concerned about this projected power station? Is he aware that there exists a strong suspicion that the Government have already taken a decision? Would he deny that and say categorically that such a suspicion is unwarranted?

Mr. Gunter

I assure my right hon. Friend that the suspicion is unwarranted. When the decision is made, I will announce it.

Mr. Lubbock

Do the cuts mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman earlier—relating to investment in electricity supply—assume that the Seaton Carew power station will not be started in the financial year 1968–69? If so, will he ask the contractors to re-tender so that advantage may be taken of the technological developments which have occurred in the present year?

Mr. Gunter

I am not sure, to begin with, that I agree with the hon. Gentleman's assumption. I might add that the Electricity Council recently reduced its load forecast and that I am now examining the implications of that.

Forward to