§ Mr. Strang
asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he will make a statement regarding the current state of negotiations between the Central Electricity Generating Board and the Electricité de France (EdF) over United Kingdom involvement in the proposed French commercial fast reactor Superhenix; and whether any other United Kingdom organisations for which his Department has responsibility are involved in the negotiations;
(2) whether the Central Electricity Generating Board or any other United Kingdom organisation for which his Department has responsibility has had negotiations with the company Europaische Schnellbrüter-Kernkraftwerksgesellschaft mbH (ESK), registered in Germany, regarding either (a) the costs of designing the commercial fast reactor SNR-2.(EUR0-1), (b) guaranteeing any of the development costs and (c) taking a shareholding in the company or in any associated or subsidiary company established to develop SNR-2
§ Mr. Goodlad
As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State said in his reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Banbury (Mr. Baldry) on 16 January 1984, the inter-governmental memorandum of understanding for the joint development of the fast reactor provides for the industry progressively to set up its own general and specific implementing agreements covering particular aspects of the collaboration. One set of agreements would relate to collaboration between utilities, including possible cross-investment in demonstration fast reactors, another to cooperation on their design.28W
The Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) joined the consortium of German, Belgian and Dutch utilities, Schnellbrüter-Kernkraftwerks gmbH (SBK) as a minor shareholder (1.65 per cent.) in 1973. This consortium, which was formed for the construction and operation of the prototype demonstration fast reactor SNR-300 in the Federal Republic of Germany, is a member of the Europaische Schnellbrüter Kernkraftwerk gmbH (ESK) which, with French and Italian utilities, was formed for the construction of the commercial size demonstration fast reactor, SN R-2. SBK is also a small shareholder (16 per cent.) in the commercial size demonstration fast reactor Superphénix-1 in France.
As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State said in his reply to my right hon. Friend the Member for Guildford (Mr. Howell) on 22 February 1984, a general agreement was signed by the CEGB with Electricité de France in February 1984. This sets out the principles for long-term co-operation between the two utilities, with provision for specific agreements relating to specific projects. No such agreements have yet been signed and the Government have not received any specific proposals for investment by the CEGB in the construction of any new demonstration commercial fast reactor.
The National Nuclear Corporation is involved in design work on future collaborative reactors. Some of this work is funded by the CEGB.