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Nuclear Power

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:16 pm on 22nd October 2002.

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Photo of Mr Brian Wilson Mr Brian Wilson Minister of State (Industry and Energy), Department of Trade and Industry 8:16 pm, 22nd October 2002

What we put in place lasts until 29 November. Before then, we must decide how to take matters forward after all the discussions that are taking place with the company. However, to characterise our actions as bailing out British Energy is inaccurate. First, the money is a loan [Laughter.] That is an important point. The bond gives us priority over bondholders or shareholders if the company becomes insolvent. However, we are motivated not by bailing out British Energy as a company, but by the safe operation of nuclear power stations and by maintaining security of supply. In spite of the rubbish that we heard earlier, we need nuclear power. Whether we should do so or not is an historic argument, but the idea that any political party in the House could blithely say XLet British Energy go to the wall" is preposterous.