HC Deb 07 February 2000 vol 344 c30W
Ms Drown

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will make a statement on the Government's policy of investing in the US National Ignition Facility; [107734]

(2) how much the Government (a) have invested and (b) are planning to invest in the US National Ignition Facility. [107735]

Mr. Hoon

The decision to invest in the US National Ignition Facility (NIF) was announced by my predecessor in June last year. The currently projected UK total investment is some £100 million over a period of 10 years. Of this, expenditure of some £11 million has been approved so far to fund measures aimed at increasing the laser shot rate, and initial feasibility work related to the second target chamber. Decisions on future UK investment will depend largely on the outcome of the feasibility study, which will also take into account the US Government's assessment of the status of the NIF project.