HC Deb 29 February 1956 vol 549 cc1186-7
49. Mr. Moss

asked the Lord Privy Seal what detailed plans exist to enable British firms to accept orders to build nuclear power stations in overseas territories and offer a guaranteed supply of appropriate nuclear fuel; and what plans have been made to ensure that supplies of nuclear fuels will be adequate to meet these civil needs as well as defence needs.

Mr. R. A. Butler

The Atomic Energy Authority inform me that they have had discussions with a number of firms interested in the building of nuclear power stations overseas. As to the supply of nuclear fuel, I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to him on 22nd February.

Mr. Moss

Does the right hon. Gentleman recollect that on 15th February last year, when he was in this House and I, alas, was not, his right hon. Friend the Minister of Fuel and Power stated that the Government were looking forward to the time when Britain would be able to export nuclear power stations to those parts of the world where the generation of electricity was either impossible or too costly? Has his attention been drawn to the fact that the Government of the United States of America have released no fewer than 40,000 kilogrammes of uranium 235 for civil and peaceful uses at home and abroad? Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that the magnificent efforts of Britain's scientists and technologists would be crowned by a statement from the Government that such fuels can be made available?

Mr. Butler

I am aware of the situation in the United States of America, although my information comes chiefly from the public Press. I am also aware that the Atomic Energy Authority has held two meetings with the heavy electrical plant manufacturers to explore the possibility of export business in this respect. I am also aware of the importance of the issues to which the hon. Gentleman referred in the concluding portion of his remarks.