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11 Mar 2004 : Column 1682Wcontinued
Mr. Timms: The Energy Services Working Group has now completed its work and submitted a final report to Ministers on 23 January. John Chesshire of the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes was a member of the Group. Other members, apart from Government officials, were Nick Eyre of the Energy Saving Trust and representatives of all the major energy suppliers. Minutes of the meetings of the Group, together with papers presented to it and the interim and final reports are available on the DTI website at: www.dti.gov.uk/energy/environment/energy efficiency/eswg/shtml
Mr. Timms: The impact of the EU emissions trading scheme will depend on the price of carbon in the market and the extent to which this is passed through by generators. The Department has based its estimates on a carbon price in a range from Euros525/tonne of CO2. In the first phase of the scheme at least, from 2005 to 2007, the Department believes that the carbon price is more likely to be towards the bottom of the range. The electricity price increase corresponding to a carbon price of Euros5/tonne is estimated to be 3 per cent. for domestic customers and 6 per cent. for industrial customers.
The Department commissioned ILEX Consulting to undertake work on the implications of the emissions trading scheme on the power sector. Their report can be found at: www.dti.gov.uk/energy/sepn/ilex report.pdf
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Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the impact of her Department's interpretation of the EU emissions trading scheme on UK competitiveness. 
Mr. Timms: The Department has considered carefully the implications of the EU emissions trading scheme for UK competitiveness in decisions on the overall cap. The expected impacts on energy costs and their effects on trade and the regions and countries of the UK have been published in the following document: www.dti.gov.uk/energy/sepn/euetsimplications.pdf
Brian White: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the average proportion of household expenditure spent on household fuel was in (a) 1975, (b) 1980, (c) 1985, (d) 1990, (e) 2000 and (f) 2003. 
|Household expenditure on fuel (Percentage)|
ONSFamily Expenditure Survey, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 200001.
Expenditure and Food Survey from 200102.
Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she or one of her Ministers will meet ex-miners from the Lichfield constituency in London to discuss current arrangements for miners' pension funds in the next four months. 
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Ms Hewitt: The global market for nanotechnology is forecast to exceed $1,000 billion within the next decade and it is vital that the UK is a strong player in this market. My noble Friend the Minister for Science announced our investment of £90 million in our Micro and Nanotechnology Manufacturing Initiative in July 2003 to help industry harness the commercial opportunities offered by nanotechnology. £50 million will be spent on collaborative R&D projects and £40 million on a new network of micro and nanotechnology facilities. This will help business build on the UK's excellent track record in small-scale science and win a share of this developing market. This activity will build on the substantial and wide ranging investment we are already making through the Research Councils. We expect to invest a further £100 million in our science base for nanotechnology based research over the next few years.
In addition in December 2003 I launched the "Innovation Report: Competing in the global economy: the innovation challenge, December 2003". This report describes a range of new DTI products to support technological innovation which are already being applied to support UK interests in nanotechnology.
It is the policy of this Government to be open about our approach to new technologies, to acknowledge uncertainties and to ensure that the public are engaged in the decision making process. To address any potential concerns the Government commissioned the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering to carry out an independent study to make sure we are able to benefit from the advances that nanotechnology promises with the right regulatory safeguards and protections in place. The study will also be used to inform policy on what safeguards might be required over and above existing legislation and guidance.
Mr. Simon: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the impact on long-term radioactive waste management of (a) the continued ownership of Nirex by the nuclear industry, (b) the ownership of Nirex by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and (c) a Nirex independent of the nuclear industry. 
Mr. Timms: The Government have established the independent Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) to advise it by the end of 2005 on the long-term management of the UK's higher activity wastes. Consideration of the arrangements for managing these wastes before receiving that advice would be premature.
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Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether any income accrued by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority from (a) the commercial reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel and (b) Magnox power generation will be returned to the (i) decommissioning and (ii) clean-up of nuclear sites. 
Mr. Timms: Yes. All such income will be received by Government and credited to the Nuclear Decommissioning Funding Account that will record the sums available to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). Commercial income credited to the Account will be separately identified.
Mr. Timms: Proposals to establish the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority were set out in the 2002 White Paper, 'Managing the Nuclear Legacy: A strategy for action', and are provided for in the Energy Bill, due to begin Report stage in the other place on 18 March.
The Bill will be introduced in this House as soon as the legislative timetable permits. We hope the Bill will receive Royal Assent by July, and our goal remains to have an operational NDA in place by April next year.
Mr. Timms: The Government continue to engage in their proposals to establish the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) with a broad range of stakeholders, including industry, the regulators, local and regional government organisations, trades unions, Non-Governmental Organisations, suppliers and members of the public. Legislation to establish the NDA is under discussion in the other place.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) whether the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority will accept new contracts for the commercial reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel once it assumes control of Thorp; 
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