§ Mr. Morgan
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will call for a report on the problem of ice accretion on power cables and the threat it poses to security of supply.
§ Mr. Heathcoat-Amory
The phenomenon of ice accumulation on overhead electric lines and other structures is well understood technically. Weather conditions and their effect on overhead electricity transmission and distribution systems, including ice accumulation and electricity supply industry design standards, were exhaustively addressed in the joint Department of Energy-industry review into the widespread storm damage in the west of Britain during the winter of 1981–82. The phenomenon is not confined to the United Kingdom and occurs in other countries, including other parts of Europe, with similar climatic conditions to our own.
The area of East Midlands Electricity was particularly badly affected last December. The company is carrying out a review of those events and the Department's engineering inspectors will be keeping closely in touch with it.