HC Deb 04 February 1969 vol 777 cc200-1
29. Mr. Eadie

asked the Minister of Power to what extent he expects the delay and increases in capital and generating costs now arising at the Dungeness B nuclear power station to recur in the costs of the later advanced gas-cooled reactor stations.

34. Mr. McGuire

asked the Minister of Power what effect he expects the difficulties now being experienced at the Dungeness B nuclear power station to have on the costs of the Hinckley Point B nuclear station.

Mr. Freeson

The Central Electricity Generating Board has assured my right hon. Friend that the recent mechanical engineering difficulties at Dungeness B are specific to that station and have no implication for the other advanced gas-cooled reactor stations.

Mr. Eadie

Will my hon. Friend agree that we hear far too much about mechanical breakdowns of power plants in this country? Would he not further agree that every time a question is asked on power stations the case is strengthened for an independent investigation into power costs, as outlined by the Select Committee on Science and Technology?

Mr. Freeson

The last part of the question has already been met by the studies which we have undertaken, and are undertaking, in the Ministry into the construction of power stations and bringing them into commission. On the implication of this question and answer and the previous question and answer on the position between nuclear power and conventional stations, it would be wrong to draw any conclusions on this because difficulties of the same kind are experienced with conventional stations and with nuclear power plants.

Sir H. Legge-Bourke

In view of the considerable attention given by the Select Committee on Science and Technology to the Dungeness B building, will the hon. Gentleman now see whether we cannot have full comments from the Government on that report in relation to Dungeness B, and, in particular, in view of the changed circumstances arising out of A.P.C. who are doing this work?

Mr. Freeson

That is another question. It is not particularly germane to the Ministry of Power and concerns a number of Departments. It is not for me to answer that question.

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