HC Deb 20 March 1974 vol 870 cc1015-6
15. Mr. Ancram

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will ensure that any nuclear reactors used in proposed power stations in Scotland are of British construction and conform to the highest safety standards.

Mr. Millan

On safety, I give the hon. Gentleman the assurance he seeks. A decision on the type of reactor to be used will be taken in the light of advice from the Nuclear Power Advisory Board, which is awaited.

Mr. Ancram

Is the hon. Gentleman aware of the serious concern within constituencies such as Berwick and East Lothian about the safety angle? Is he prepared to undertake that no decision will be taken on these proposed nuclear power stations until that concern has been satisfied?

Mr. Millan

I do not know what the hon. Gentleman means by "satisfying that concern". I have said that safety considerations mus be paramount in this matter and that that will guide us in any approval that we may give for any particular application.

Mr. Dalyell

Will my hon. Friend apply his undoubted powers of scepticism to any proposal for an oil-fired power station at Bo'Ness and give an undertaking that the views of Mr. Frank Tombs of the SSEB will be preferred to those of Mr. Hawkins of the CEGB when making a decision on the nuclear power station, possibly at Dunbar?

Mr. Millan

I am aware of Mr. Tombs' views, which will be taken into consideration. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy has already given a pledge that this whole matter will be debated in the House before any decision is taken about the type of reactor that may be used in any future installations.