§ Mr. Bob Cryer (Keighley)
Mr. Speaker, I have great pleasure in presenting a petition to Parliament the signatures for which were collected on one day in Keighley at a safe energy day organised by the members of the Liberal and Ecology Parties. I am happy to present the petition and strongly to endorse the sentiment of concern about civil nuclear power expressed in the petition.
It seems to me particularly appropriate that the petition of nearly 1,500 signatures collected on one day between 9 am and 5 pm should be brought to the attention of the House when we read in the press that the CEGB, backed by the Government, is to fight proposals from the Health and Safety Executive that the safety case documents relating to the American-designed pressurised water nuclear reactor should be made public as soon as possible. It is particularly appropriate against the background of the potentially devastating accident at the Three Mile Island reactor in America in March this year.
The Government are proposing to extend our nuclear energy programme against a background of reported serious under manning of the nuclear installations inspectorate division of the Health and Safety Executive.
Many of the petitioners, Mr. Speaker, are of course concerned that safety standards will be further undermined by the cuts in public expenditure. There is no guarantee of safety in nuclear generation, and the potential for devastation is greater than has even been known on this planet. Hence the concern expressed in the petition.
The petition reads:
To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled.
The humble petition of the people of Yorkshire sheweth that there is great concern about the Nuclear Energy Programme.
Wherefore your Petitioners pray that you will not spend any further money on nuclear power but invest instead in programmes of energy conservation, home insulation and develop safe energy sources such as solar, wind, wave and geothermal power.
And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.
§ To lie upon the Table.