HC Deb 26 April 1990 vol 171 cc275-6W
Mr. Dobson

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what was his Department's expenditure on nuclear energy programmes in 1987–88, 1988–89 and 1989–90, broken down into fast reactor, fusion, thermal reactor and other; if he will list the categories included in other; and if he will make a statement on the reasons for the increases in this expenditure.

Mr. Wakeham

My Department's expenditure on nuclear energy programmes was as follows:

1987–881 1988–891 1989–902
Fast Reactor3 82.33 104.21 98.58
Fusion3 21.89 26.21 26.60
Thermal Reactor 20.05 19.53 17.27
Other 49.02 117.95 73.27
Total 173.29 267.89 215.72

Note: £ million in money of the year.

1 These figures are a breakdown of the Appropriation Accounts.

2 These figures appear in the Supply Estimates.

3 These include restructuring costs where appropriate.

All figures include contribution to the UKAEA's Underlying Research Programme where appropriate.

The nuclear programmes included under "Other" in the table are general nuclear safety research (GNSR), radiological protection research (RPR), decommissioning and radioactive waste management studies (DRAWMS), nuclear materials management (NMM), safeguards, decommissioning and radioactive waste management operations (DRAWMOPS), the UKAEA's contribution to NIREX, Winfrith steam generating heavy water reactor (SGHWR), public information and advisory services.

The increase in total expenditure in 1988–89 was a result of the following: payment to clear outstanding liabilities of the UKAEA to BNFL for waste management and decommissioning costs, in respect of work and waste arising before 1971; restructuring costs due to the rundown of the fast reactor programme: and a one-off payment of £17 million because of a change in the timing of payment to the UKAEA.

Compared with 1987–88, the fast reactor figures for 1989–90 are higher due to restructuring costs (£25.2 million) and the "Other" figures mainly due to DRAWMOPS.