Heysham and Torness Power Stations

Oral Answers to Questions — Energy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd June 1985.

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Photo of Mr Harvey Proctor Mr Harvey Proctor , Billericay 12:00 am, 3rd June 1985

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what are the anticipated commissioning dates of the Heysham 2 and Torness power stations; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Alastair Goodlad Mr Alastair Goodlad Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Energy)

The anticipated commissioning dates for the two reactors at Heysham 2 power station are mid-1987 and mid-1988, respectively. Matters relating to electricity supply in Scotland are for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.

Photo of Mr Harvey Proctor Mr Harvey Proctor , Billericay

Will my hon. Friend consult our right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment concerning the disposal of Her Majesty's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate to Bootle against its wishes, which coincides with the receiving of the station safety reports from the CEGB to the inspectorate? Will he ensure that the safety aspects are considered in depth and that there will be no delay in the commissioning of power stations, because any delay will cost the nation about £250,000 per day per station?

Photo of Mr Alastair Goodlad Mr Alastair Goodlad Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Energy)

I am advised by the Health and Safety Commission that dispersal of the inspectorate will not have any implications for the anticipated commissioning dates of Heysham 2. The Government are conscious of the need to maintain the high standards of the inspectorate. The detailed arrangements for dispersal are a matter for the Health and Safety Executive. I understand that it does not believe that dispersal need have serious consequences for the effectiveness of the inspectorate.

Photo of Mr David Crouch Mr David Crouch , Canterbury

Will my hon. Friend assure us that before the Government reach a decision on the type of nuclear generation for the future they will wait to see the successful results of those two power stations in operation?

Photo of Mr Alastair Goodlad Mr Alastair Goodlad Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Energy)

The relative merits of the AGR and PWR were exhaustively rehearsed at the Sizewell inquiry. In view of my right hon. Friend's quasi-judicial position, it would be wrong for me to comment further.

Mr. Andy Stewart:

Can my hon. Friend confirm that the National Coal Board took into consideration the commissioning of those two nuclear power stations when it set its target for the production of coal last year?