HC Deb 13 February 1996 vol 271 cc538-9W
Mr. Llew Smith

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what reports he has received on the representations made to the United Kingdom ambassador in Dublin by the Irish Minister for Energy, Transport and Communications during their meeting on 6 February to discuss Sellafield. [14844]

Mr. Eggar

The meeting was held at the ambassador's request. Mr. Stagg, the Irish Minister for Energy, Transport and Communications, expressed anxiety about the UK nuclear industry, including operations at Sellafield, following a minor incident there on 2 February. However, as Mr. Stagg recognised in his subsequent statement in the Dail on 8 February, the incident had no radiological or health implications for Ireland nor was there any release of radioactivity to the environment. Mr. Stagg and the ambassador agreed on the importance of continued early notification to the Irish Government of incidents at UK nuclear installations which could affect the Irish environment.

Mr. Battle

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is his timetable for the closure of the Magnox nuclear power stations; and if he will make a statement. [14758]

Mr. Ian Taylor

The Government are satisfied that it makes economic sense to continue to generate electricity from the Magnox stations. Decisions relating to closure of Magnox stations are a matter for the operator, subject to the views of the independent regulator, the Health and Safety Executive's nuclear installations inspectorate— NII. The safety of all UK Magnox nuclear power stations has been considered in detail by the NII under the long-term safety review—LTSR—programme. Subject to continuing satisfactory results from the routine tests and inspections required under licensing arrangements, and the outcome of periodic safety reviews, the NII has given its agreement for those Magnox stations currently operating to continue to operate.