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All-Party Parliamentary Group on Nuclear Energy

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This article is part of a series on the
2005-2006 national debate on nuclear
power in the UK

For more articles on this topic,
see the NuclearSpin website

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Nuclear Energy (APPGNE) was set up in February 2003 to "to encourage and facilitate discussion among MPs and Peers from across the political spectrum with an interest in nuclear issues, and to provide a forum for the exchange of information and views between parliamentarians and representatives of the nuclear and energy industries". The group's website states that "the administration of the Group is undertaken by the Nuclear Industry Association." [1]

It exists "To encourage and facilitate discussion among MPs and peers from across the political spectrum with an interest in nuclear issues; to provide a forum for exchange of information and views between parliamentarians and representatives of the nuclear and energy industries."[2]

The equivalent body in the Scottish parliament is the Civil Nuclear Industry Scottish CPG.

Funding

The House of Commons register on the group includes the disclosure that the "Nuclear Industry Association provides administrative assistance (booking meeting rooms, organising events and trips, sending out invitations to meetings, writing minutes). From 12-16 February 2007, members of the group visited France. The costs of the trip were met by AREVA (registered March 2007). From 25-29 August 2007, members of the group visited the USA. The costs of the trip were met by Westinghouse Electric Company (registered October 2007)."[2]

Officers

In a speech to the Nuclear Industry Association's Annual Conference in December 2004, the ex-Chair of the APPGNE Bill Tynan (Labour MP for Hamilton South), said: "The All Party Parliamentary Group on Nuclear Energy, which I chair, will do all we can to persuade the Government of the need for a nuclear component. If we are serious about keeping open the nuclear option, we must lay the foundations now. This can only happen if we have the political will to do so." [3]

The Administrator now appears to be Linda Smith, a public affairs officer with British Energy [4] who took over from Ms Miranda Kirschel, who was Corporate Affairs Manager at the Nuclear Industry Association, but now works for CH2M Hill, although the Parliamentary register of All Party Groups says the "Nuclear Industry Association provides administrative assistance (booking meeting rooms, organising events and trips, sending out invitations to meetings, writing minutes)." [5] The Nuclear Industry Association also registered the Group's website. [2]

Activities

Work of the APPGNE

The group's submission to the most recent UK Government consultation on Nuclear Energy which ended on 10th October 2007 says it believes that unless we embrace nuclear energy we could fail future generations. [6] "We believe," the submission says, "there has to be a balanced energy policy including nuclear. If the lights are to stay on and we are to protect our citizens then nuclear must be acknowledged as a core source of energy ...We are concerned that the elected Government listen more to the unelected environmental groups who have no responsibility and would not be criticised nor held accountable in the event of a shortage or disruption to our energy supply".

Jackboot Democracy?

APPGNE wants to curtail public scrutiny of proposed new reactors at public inquiries because "we cannot allow opponents of new nuclear build to draw out the planning and regulatory process. We need to build nuclear power plants as a matter of urgency".

And with complete disregard for the proliferation implications of separating yet more plutonium from spent nuclear waste fuel, APPGNE's submission says: "To reject the opportunity to reprocess spent fuel would be unacceptable and a major mistake".

Parliamentary Platform for Reactor Builders

APPGNE's meeting in November 2007 heard from Brian Cothran Vice-President, Europe, of GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy,[7] which has submitted its Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor(ESBWR) design to the UK nuclear regulators' generic design assessment (GDA) process. [8]

The group also heard from Lord Martin O'Neil, Chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association, former Labour chair of the House of Commons Trade and Industry Committee. [9] Earlier in 2007 it received presentations from Westinghouse, [10] and British Energy, EDF Energy, and Eon UK. [11]

People

Members

The registered members of the group include:

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. All-Party Parliamentary Group on Nuclear Energy, All Party Parliamentary Group on Nuclear Energy, accessed December 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 House of Commons, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Nuclear Energy, Register of All-Party Groups, December 7, 2007.
  3. [1]
  4. "Public Affairs Team" British Energy website, accessed December 2007,
  5. All Party Parliamentary Group on Nuclear Energy
  6. Response to the Government Consultation: the Future of Nuclear Power The role of nuclear power in a low carbon UK economy All Party Parliamentary Nuclear Energy Group, October 2007.
  7. "Meetings" APPGNE website accessed December 2007.
  8. GE Energy Press Release GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Submits ESBWR To U.K. Regulators For Generic Design Assessment, June 21, 2007.
  9. All Party Parliamentary Group on Nuclear Energy, Minutes of Meeting, July 24, 2007
  10. All Party Parliamentary Group on Nuclear Energy Minutes Of Meeting, April 17, 2007
  11. All Party Parliamentary Group on Nuclear Energy Press Release All Party Chair backs clarity on new nuclear January 31, 2007.

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