HC Deb 16 December 1992 vol 216 cc236-7W
Mr. Hinchliffe

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what expenditure is required to construct the Sizewell B nuclear plant.

Mr. Eggar

The estimated cost to completion of the Sizewell B project is £2,030 million of which, at 30 September 1992, £1,725 million has been committed and £1,548 million spent—all figures are in April 1987 prices. Nuclear Electric plc remains on target to complete the project ahead of time and within budget.

Mr. Peter Butler

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the purpose of the pre-OSART mission to the Sizewell B power station undertaken by a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency in late October and early November; and what were the findings of the mission.

Mr. Heseltine

The IAEA mission, which was invited by Her Majesty's Government at the suggestion of Nuclear Electric, the operators of Sizewell B, reviewed the arrangements for operational safety at the plant. A team of experts from seven countries and from the IAEA, together with observers from a further three countries, looked in depth at nine areas relevant to operational safety.

An official IAEA report will be submitted to Her Majesty's Government in due course. However, in a press statement issued following the mission, the IAEA team leaders stated that the mission had concluded that Sizewell B is a well-managed nuclear plant". The mission also identified a number of commendable features in the programme of the power plant". Some areas were also identified where the team made suggestions for further enhancement of existing good performance.

The IAEA's recommendations and suggestions have been welcomed by the station's management who regard them as opportunities for yet further improvement in the station's operational safety performance.

Copies of the IAEA's and Nuclear Electric's press notices have been placed in the Library of the House.