Civil Nuclear Road Map

Part of Backbench Business – in the House of Commons am 3:19 pm ar 22 Chwefror 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Paul Beresford Paul Beresford Ceidwadwyr, Mole Valley 3:19, 22 Chwefror 2024

I am a little cautious about rising to speak, because like other Members in the past, I have great enthusiasm and a great understanding of the need, but considerable ignorance of the physics involved, having left physics behind 30 or 40 years ago.

I have two personal links to this matter, the first being a slightly amusing one. I lived in a little place called Richmond in the north of the south island of New Zealand. Just down the road is a place called Appleby, which is even smaller. In the 1870s, the school at Appleby had four pupils. One of them was Ernest Hemingway. Sorry, it was not Ernest Hemingway. [Interruption.] It was—our nuclear man. His first invention was a potato masher for his grandmother, which I thought was quite an interesting link because, as we all know, he went on to smash the atom, as it has been put. My enthusiasm comes from recognition that we must have nuclear power in this country, even if we take into account the point about hydroelectric, but without the facilities, we cannot have it.

My second link to this matter is that a firm in my constituency, KBR, is a power in nuclear production. It welcomes this road map, but has concerns about it. I invite the Minister to have a roundtable discussion; he could bring in the key players to sit down with him and talk the whole project through. KBR’s feeling—and I sense this as well—is that we have a classic case of UK caution in this area. We had a positive response to small modular reactors in the case of Rolls-Royce and TerraPower, but we do not seem to be getting stuck in with and behind advanced modular reactors, as has already been mentioned.