HC Deb 25 November 1999 vol 339 c164W
Ms Southworth

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he is taking to ensure an informed decision on the site for the new synchrotron. [99739]

Mr. Byers

I have considered the issues carefully and it is clear to me that on scientific and financial grounds the choice of a site for the new synchrotron lies between the two main sites of the Central Laboratory for the Research Councils: the Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire. There has been a number of studies looking at the project proposals and the sites. At the same time, however, the project has been evolving, for example with the announcement in August of the French Government's participation in the project and changing views on capacity requirements and technical solutions. I am, therefore, commissioning two further studies to inform a final decision on the site.

First, I have asked the Director General of Research Councils to seek the views of synchrotron users on what they see as the key issues of relevance to a decision on the site for the new synchrotron.

Second, we will be commissioning an external engineering survey and report on the two potential sites for the new synchrotron. I have asked for this report by early January to enable me to make a final decision in the light of all the evidence and announce it by mid January.

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