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Nuclear Reactors (Research)

Volume 640: debated on Tuesday 16 May 1961

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science what progress is being made with the research being conducted into the production of nuclear reactors to be used for research and teaching purposes.

Several small reactors suitable for research and train- ing are available from British firms. Research into their development and production is primarily a matter for the firms which make them.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that there is a feeling that from the point of view of exports we are losing this race to the Americans? Can he give an assurance that every firm will be encouraged, along with the Atomic Energy Authority, to produce this type of reactor for export?

Certainly we fully desire to encourage the production of goods which may be exported, but equally I think it must be left to the judgment of the individual firms whether or not there is a sufficient market for them to be justified in devoting any given sum to research and development.

Can the hon. Gentleman say how many reactors of this type have been exported, in view of the fact that the Americans, I understand, have twelve in countries throughout the world?

Will the hon. Gentleman say how this coincides with the Prime Minister's statement when he went to the F.B.I. imploring those people to get on with the job of increasing exports?