HC Deb 25 October 1976 vol 918 cc47-8W
Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what he estimates would be the loss to the United Kingdom in money terms flowing from a deferment of the programme recently outlined by the BNF;

(2) what is estimated would be the consequence of a failure to proceed with the work outlined by the BNF to Parliament or a substantial delay under the Town and Country Planning Act.

Mr. Benn

The company informs me that, in general, the consequences of delay would be as follows:

As regards the construction of new storage and decanning facilities for irradiated Magnox fuel there would be difficulties in continuing to accept all the fuel discharged from existing Magnox stations, which could lead to the stations being shut down;

As regards research and development facilities, there would be a slowdown of developing the waste vitrification process;

As regards the construction of storage facilities and reprocessing plant for oxide fuel, storage capacity at stations is limited; there would be difficulties in the continued operation of the AGR Reactors and substantial foreign exchange earnings from overseas oxide reprocessing could be lost.

The loss in money terms would depend on the length of a delay.