HC Deb 12 November 1973 vol 864 cc7-8W
Dr. John Cunningham

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what is the total contribution of Her Majesty's Government to the URENCO/CENTEC gas centrifuge plant development programme; how this compares with the contributions from the other Governments involved; and if he will make a statement;

(2) if he will make a statement on the locations of the new plant capacity to be developed by URENCO/CENTEC for the use of gas centrifuge techniques for enrichment, giving the figures for the investment involved;

(3) on what basis the decision by URENCO/CENTEC was taken to install 2,000 tonnes per annum of enrichment capacity by 1980; what part the EEC has played in the policy making; whether any Community finance is involved; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Emery

Her Majesty's Government are providing support on an annually declining basis to URENCO/CENTEC for research and development on centrifuges. The present estimate of the total cost to the United Kingdom of this support is £9 million. In addition, under the arrangements explained in the statement by my hon. Friend the Minister for Industry on 24th July, the Government are providing support of up to £22 million to British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. during the initial programme of collaboration. The Dutch and German Governments are providing comparable support to their industries. With the endorsement of the three Governments URENCO/CENTEC have decided on construction, as an initial programme, of 400 tonnes of separative work capacity to be divided equally between Capenhurst in the United Kingdom and Almelo in the Netherlands. On the basis of their assessment of the likely demand URENCO/CENTEC had also decided and are planning for expansion of capacity up to 2,000 tonnes by 1980. Policy on this investment has been developed on a tripartite basis and no EEC finance is involved.

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