Industry: water, steel & energy

Vey, Peter (9 of 10). An Oral History of the Electricity Supply in the UK

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The British Library Board acknowledges the intellectual property rights of those named as contributors to this recording and the rights of those not identified.
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  • Recording date

    2016-01-28, 2016-02-19, 2016-04-04, 2016-04-18, 2016-05-10, 2016-05-20

  • Interviewees

    Vey, Peter, 1928- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 9: Remarks on starting at CEGB: anecdote about PV recruitment by Walter Marshall circumventing normal CEGB recruitment methods; PV attendance of weekly CEGB executive meeting, anecdote about Fred Bonner's welcome. [01:50] Remarks on Sizewell B inquiry and PR: much environmental opposition to PWR; John Baker key roll in inquiry process; changes to Sizewell B PR, press officer Andy Roe assigned as dedicated full time press officer to inquiry team; care needed with PR as inquiry was a legal process, PR tasked with challenging outrageous statements by opponents in press; Sizewell B seen as national political rather than publicity exercise; defensive stance of PR; Chernobyl occurring during Frank Leyfield's writing up of report, Thatcher Government bravery in giving consent for Sizewell B after Chernobyl. [07:20] Remarks on sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions from coal power stations: Swedish government objections to acid rain poisoning lakes; anecdote about Friends of the Earth dumping a dead salmon, bought at Harrods, in CEGB headquarters. [08:40] Further remarks on Sizewell B inquiry: PV fascinated by process on his occasional visits; calmness of witnesses in face of hostile questioning; good legal team led by David Silsoe, anecdote about Silsoe singing i the office; anecdote about Arthur Scargill and Tony Benn acting to together as inquiry witnesses; local issues a major issue at inquiry; inquiry positive effect on Snape Maltings concert hall where it was held; local media and population neutral; inquiry whipping up anti-nuclear issues around country; [14:50] anti-Americanism contributing to distrust of PWR in Britain; attitudes toward Sizewell B inquiry within CEGB; PV feeling 4 year inquiry and report process too long, and level of detail too high; Parliamentary debate led by minister Peter Walker; [18:50] Sizewell B planned as first of a series of unrealised PWR stations; current debates over Hinkley C; [20:55] Remarks on CEGB nuclear fuel flask train crash: John Baker major role through responsibility for Barnwood; ex-ITN presenter Peter Fairley acting as commentator; anecdote about Walter Marshall meeting with safety engineers Bechtel; PV assigning Tim Beaumont to manage PR aspects; anecdote about Anne Marshall bursting into tears at train crash; audience including members of parliament, press, and nuclear industry figures; positive media response to train crash; PV collection of press cartoons from the aftermath.

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