My hon. Friend is correct in what he says about France. The Government consider that a prudent energy policy requires the country to have available a range of supply options, including an appropriate nuclear component. As my hon. Friend says, in 1983 nuclear power contributed 17 per cent. of the United Kingdom's electricity supply. When the three AGRs currently being commissioned are fully operational, nuclear power could be contributing as much as a quarter of our electricity requirements. Our nuclear generating capacity will then have risen from 6·5 to 9·5 GW.
The Government expect that nuclear power will form an increasing component of our electricity supply in the longer term, provided that nuclear stations can be built to time and cost. The number of new nuclear stations will depend on several factors, including the level of electricity demand.