Nuclear Power

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 14th November 2007.

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Photo of Eddie McGrady Eddie McGrady Social Democratic and Labour Party, South Down 11:30 am, 14th November 2007

What discussions he has had with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform on the proposed development of nuclear power sites in Northern Ireland.

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Photo of Paul Goggins Paul Goggins Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

I have had no such discussions, but my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has consulted widely across the UK, including in Northern Ireland, on whether to give companies the option of investing in new nuclear power stations. No decision could be taken to site a nuclear power plant in Northern Ireland without the agreement of the devolved Administration.

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Photo of Eddie McGrady Eddie McGrady Social Democratic and Labour Party, South Down

I thank the Minister for his reply. Is he aware that the Government chief scientific adviser, Sir David King, endorsed the proposals for five nuclear sites in Northern Ireland, two of them in my constituency? What representation has been made to the Northern Ireland Office by the Executive, and did the Executive make a submission on the issue of nuclear sites to the UK Government before the end of the consultation period on 10 October?

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Photo of Paul Goggins Paul Goggins Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has strategic responsibility for overall energy policy across the UK and he has organised two public consultations in Northern Ireland in relation to this question. I assure my hon. Friend that in any event it would require the express agreement of politicians in Northern Ireland before any nuclear power plant could be developed there.

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