Three nuclear crises: a crisis of waste costs of £68bn, a crisis of waste dumping - the only site rejected, a crisis of building - Centrica exits. Yesterday I tabled the following EDMs:
Early day motion 1031
That this House is alarmed at the delays and cost-overruns of new nuclear power stations; notes that the Olkiluoto station in Finland that promised to start generating in 2009 at a cost of 6.4 billion euro will not be ready until after 2014 at a cost of 8.5 billion euro; further notes that the Flamanville station will not be ready until 2016 with costs having soared from 3.3 to 8 billion euro; believes that plans for British nuclear stations are near collapse with the withdrawal of the British firm Centrica from the Hinkley project after its investment of 1 billion; and urges Government investment in alternative energy sources.
Early day motion 1032
That this House recalls the warning of the Flowers report in 1976 that it was irresponsible to use nuclear power without a solution for waste disposal; is surprised that a staggering 68 billion has been spent to guard UK nuclear waste and that Cumbria Council has rejected the only waste repository that has been proposed; and believes it is still irresponsible to create more nuclear waste without a solution for disposal.
Early day motion 1033
That this House recalls the repeated Government assurances that no subsidies would be paid to new nuclear stations; notes the estimate of former government adviser Professor Tom Burke that a taxpayer subsidy of up to 30 billion of taxpayers' money will be demanded in addition to the unique taxpayer subsidy of insurance covering the vast liabilities of nuclear accidents beyond the 200 billion cost of Chernobyl; and insists that Parliament must have full transparency of all taxpayer liabilities before any commitments are made to nuclear subsidies.
This week in the Commons:
Paul Flynn (Newport West)(Lab): On a point of order, Mr Speaker. It was a great shock this morning to hear for the first time that the cost of maintaining nuclear waste in this country is an astonishing £67.5 billion. Last Thursday, I asked a question about another possible subsidy of £30 billion, but the Minister mysteriously concentrated on my attitude to the monarchy in his reply and did not mention the cost. Have you had any approach, Mr Speaker, from that Minister or any other Minister in the Department of Energy and Climate Change, to explain how in a time of austerity we can spend tens of billions of pounds on one energy source?
Mr Speaker: The short answer is that I have received no such indication that a Minister is planning to come to the House to speak on those matters. The hon. Gentleman may wish to pursue his interests further in subsequent questions, in so far as he thinks he has not already done so to his satisfaction, and that of others, through the ruse of an attempted point of order.
Suffering in Syria
Paul Flynn (Newport West) (Lab): The right hon. Lady deserves gratitude for her statement and for her work in relieving suffering in Syria. Is she concerned about reports that the most merciless slaughter of women and children has been carried out by the al-Nusra Front, which is linked to al-Qaeda? Given that that group is part of the opposition, will she do all she can to ensure that the al-Nusra Front does not receive arms, comfort or support from us?
Justine Greening: I hope that I can provide the hon. Gentleman with that reassurance. We have been careful to ensure that the humanitarian agencies with which we work that offer support within Syria go through the appropriate due diligence to ensure that they are working with non-extremist groups. That is one of the complex factors that have made delivering support within Syria even more challenging. As he is aware, the opposition have been quite fragmented, so humanitarian agencies have had to assess whether they can work with individual groups on a case-by-case basis.
Council housing pioneers
Paul Flynn (Newport West) (Lab): Does the right hon. Gentleman know that Newport council, and Leicester council on which our friend the late David Taylor served, were selling council houses in a fair, sustainable way for more than a decade before the dawn of Thatcherism? Does he acknowledge his debt to those pioneering Labour authorities?
Mr Pickles: That interesting view no doubt has some weight in a parallel universe. No doubt the hon. Gentleman will support the Government’s push to increase the sale of council houses to their tenants. I look forward, for the first time ever, to hands across the Chamber.
10. Duncan Hames (Chippenham) (LD): What recent estimate he has made of the proportion of prisoners (a) entering and (b) leaving prison with an addiction to a class A drug. 
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice (Mrs Helen Grant): A survey of 1,435 prisoners sentenced to between one month and four years in 2005 and 2006 showed that 45% of prisoners reported having taken a class A drug in the four weeks before custody. No recent estimate has been made of the proportion of prisoners leaving prison with an addiction to a class A drug.
Paul Flynn (Newport West) (Lab): I am provoked by the very complacent answers that we have had. All the Government are offering is warm words on this. They say they have no recent evidence, but we all know from our own experience that not one single prison in the whole of Britain is free of illegal drugs. If the Government have no evidence of people going in as shoplifters and coming out as heroin addicts, the rest of society does have it. Should not the Government adopt a policy that
is at least robust and realistic and look at the traffic between prison officers and prisoners on drugs?
Mrs Grant: As I made clear, we are looking carefully at the excellent report by the Home Affairs Committee. However, we genuinely believe that our transforming rehabilitation plans will provide much better continuity of care and help to get prisoners off drugs in the long term.
Paul Flynn (Newport West) (Lab): The Prime Minister’s career probably peaked when he was a Back-Bench member of the Home Affairs Committee in 2005. Will he revive his progressive courage of that time when he looks at the report from the all-party parliamentary group on drug misuse on the awful problems of new drugs that are on the market but not controlled in any way?
The Prime Minister: I am grateful for the hon. Gentleman’s view of my career trajectory. I will not ask him about his—perhaps we can agree about it afterwards. I learned some important lessons from the Home Affairs Committee report I worked on, including on the priority we give in tackling drugs to
education and treatment. Those are the two key arms of what needs to be done. However, I do not believe we should be legalising drugs that are currently illegal. On current legal highs and problems relating to substances such as khat, which was mentioned in a previous question, we need to look carefully at the evidence on what will work best.