Energy and Climate Change

Written answers and statements, Energy and Climate Change: Nuclear Power Stations: Safety, 5 April 2011

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether defence nuclear activities will be included within the scope of the review into the safety of UK nuclear plants by the Health and Safety Executive’s Nuclear Directorate.

Charles Hendry (Minister of State (Renewable Energy), Energy and Climate Change; Wealden, Conservative)
Following the nuclear incident at Fukushima in Japan, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change asked Dr Mike Weightman, HM Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations, to report on the lessons to be learnt for the UK from the incident, with an interim report requested from Dr Weightman in May 2011 and a final report in September 2011. Dr Weightman has complete independence to determine the scope of his reports and the arrangements for conducting his inquiries for them. However, the Secretary of State’s responsibilities only relate to civil nuclear facilities. I understand that Dr Weightman’s focus for his interim report will be on any early lessons for existing and prospective UK nuclear power stations. His final report may have lessons that are relevant for nuclear safety at defence related sites.

Written answers and statements, Energy and Climate Change: Nuclear Power Stations, 1 April 2011

Jamie Reed (Copeland, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he has assessed the suitability of boiling water nuclear reactors for deployment in the UK.

Charles Hendry (Minister of State (Renewable Energy), Energy and Climate Change; Wealden, Conservative)
The safety, security and environmental aspects of nuclear reactor designs proposed for deployment in the UK are assessed by the UK’s nuclear regulators as part of their site licensing and permitting processes.

Regulators have recently assessed a number of reactor designs as part of their generic design assessment (GDA) process. One design, the GE-Hitachi ESBWR is an evolution of earlier boiling water reactors. Assessment of the economic simplified boiling water reactor (ESBWR) within the GDA process ceased in September 2008 when GE-Hitachi requested a temporary suspension of work.

No boiling water reactor designs are currently being assessed for the UK.

Information on the regulators assessment findings, including interim technical reports and quarterly updates can be found on their website:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/newreactors

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change has asked UK Chief Nuclear Inspector, Dr Mike Weightman, to provide an independent report to the Government on the implications of the unprecedented events in Japan and the lessons to be learned for the UK nuclear industry.

He has asked for an interim report by mid-May 2011 and a final report within six months. The reports will be published in the public domain.

Jamie Reed (Copeland, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of boiling water nuclear reactor designs

Charles Hendry (Minister of State (Renewable Energy), Energy and Climate Change; Wealden, Conservative)
The safety, security and environmental aspects of nuclear reactor designs proposed for deployment in the UK are assessed by the UK’s nuclear regulators as part of their site licensing and permitting processes.

Regulators have recently assessed a number of reactor designs as part of their generic design assessment process (GDA). One design, the GE-Hitachi economic simplified boiling water reactor (ESBWR) is an evolution of earlier boiling water reactors. Assessment of the ESBWR within the GDA ceased in September 2008 when GE-Hitachi requested a temporary suspension of work.

Information on the regulators assessment findings, including interim technical reports and quarterly updates can be found on their website:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/newreactors

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change has asked UK Chief Nuclear Inspector, Dr Mike Weightman, to provide an independent report to the Government on the implications of the unprecedented events in Japan and the lessons to be learned for the UK nuclear industry.

He has asked for an interim report by mid-May 2011 and a final report within six months. The reports will be published in the public domain.

Jamie Reed (Copeland, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what information his Department holds on the number of third generation nuclear reactors that are in operation around the world.

Charles Hendry (Minister of State (Renewable Energy), Energy and Climate Change; Wealden, Conservative)
The Department of Energy and Climate Change does not hold specific information on the number of third generation nuclear plants in operation around the world.

A number of other organisations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Nuclear Association maintain lists of such information that is easily accessed on the internet:

http://www.iaea.org
and
http://www.world-nuclear.org

Written answers and statements, Energy and Climate Change: Nuclear Power Stations: Safety, 29 March 2011

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Hartlepool of 18 March 2011, Official Report, column 757W, if he will direct the Chief Nuclear Inspector to seek evidence from experts (a) within and (b) outside the nuclear industry in preparing his report on the situation in Japan and the lessons to be learned; and if he will request the Chief Nuclear Inspector to hold in public any sessions held for the purpose of taking oral evidence.

Charles Hendry (Minister of State (Renewable Energy), Energy and Climate Change; Wealden, Conservative)
The Secretary of State has asked UK Chief Nuclear Inspector Dr Mike Weightman to provide a report to the Government on the implications of the unprecedented events in Japan and the lessons to be learned for the UK nuclear industry.

He has asked for an interim report by mid-May 2011 and a final report within six months. The reports will be published in the public domain.

The Chief Nuclear Inspector’s reports will be independent, informed from a robust evidence base, comprehensive, wide in scope and based on the best technical advice available.

The report will be produced in close cooperation with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) Japanese authorities, and other international regulators to carefully establish what lessons can be learned.

Written answers and statements – Energy and Climate Change: Nuclear Power Stations, 22 March 2011

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will extend his Department’s review of the implications of the situation concerning nuclear power stations in Japan to include consideration of the (a) costs and (b) timetable for new nuclear build in the UK.

Charles Hendry (Wealden, Conservative)
holding answer 21 March 2011

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, my right hon. Friend Chris Huhne has asked the Chief Nuclear Inspector, Dr Mike Weightman, to provide a report to the Government on the implications of the unprecedented events in Japan and the lessons to be learned for the UK nuclear industry.

He has asked for an interim report by mid May 2011 and a final report within six months. The reports will be shared widely and made public.

The detailed scope of Dr Weightman’s report will be confirmed as information from Japan becomes clearer. The report will be conducted in close cooperation with the International nuclear community including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Japanese authorities and other regulators to carefully establish the lessons to be learned and will include existing nuclear installations in the UK and the proposed new reactor programme.

Written answers and statements – Energy and Climate Change: Earthquakes: Japan, 18 March 2011

Stephen Mosley (City of Chester, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he expects the Chief Nuclear Inspector to complete his report on the implications of the recent situation in Japan and the lessons to be learned.

Charles Hendry (Minister of State (Renewable Energy), Energy and Climate Change; Wealden, Conservative)
In the light of the events in Japan the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change has called on the Chief Nuclear Inspector, Dr. Mike Weightman for a thorough report on the implications of the situation in Japan and the lessons to be learned. This will be prepared in close co-operation internationally with other nuclear regulators, with an interim report in May and a final report within six months.

It is essential that we understand the full facts and their implications, both for existing nuclear reactors and any new programme, as safety is always our primary concern.

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