HC Deb 28 March 1983 vol 40 cc1-2
1. Mr. Maclennan

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what proposals he has received from the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, the National Nuclear Corporation and the generating boards concerning the development of the fast breeder reactor; and if he will make a statement.

The Under-Secretary of State for Energy (Mr. John Moore)

I have recently received advice from the chairman of the Atomic Energy Authority, on behalf of the various interested parties, and I am considering it. I will make a statement at the appropriate time.

Mr. Maclennan

In view of the considerable public and parliamentary interest in this issue, will the Minister consider publishing the advice before the Government arrive at a conclusion so that Parliament can pronounce on the issues involved? Secondly, will the Minister state what alterations or reductions in the budget for the development of the fast reactor the Government have already announced?

Mr. Moore

I can give no undertaking on the first point. The advice that the Government have received is confidential. The precise level of funding is not yet settled. The Government remain committed, as I made quite clear in November, to a substantial development programme.

Mr. Hannam

Can my hon. Friend throw any light on the apparent conflict of policy between the Social Democratic party and the Liberal party on the future of nuclear power? Will he confirm that all the latest evidence continues to show that if Britain's industrial costs are to be competitive with countries such as France, this country must continue with a nuclear power programme?

Mr. Moore

I am conscious of my hon. Friend's last point. The way in which the SDP reacts to the more dominant side of the alliance is shown by its antagonism to nuclear power, and it must sort itself out on that issue.

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