HC Deb 04 December 1962 vol 668 cc1115-7
6. Mr. J. H. Osborn

asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science what is the highest power output, in megawatts, at which the fast breeder reactor at Dounreay has been operated; and how this compares with the output achieved by other reactors of the same type elsewhere in the world.

Mr. Denzil Freeth

The highest power level reached by the Dounreay fast reactor is 30 megawatts (heat). I am the effort of this country, one must take into account the contribution of industry itself?

Mr. Freeth

Yes, indeed. One should consider also the contributions of Government, through the defence Departments, to industrial research, and there is a later Question on that aspect.

Mr. Albu

In the figures that the Parliamentary Secretary is to publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT, will he give a column showing the figures at constant prices?

Mr. Freeth

I am not sure that I can get out that information in time for publication in tomorrow's OFFICIAL REPORT, but I shall certainly see to its preparation, and send it to the hon. Member.

Following is the information:

informed that the Soviet reactor B.R.5 has operated at five megawatts (heat) and the U.S. reactor E.B.R.-1 at about 1½ megawatts (heat).

Mr. Osborn

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply, but would he tell us how much has gone to the grid and what the costs are likely to be when these experiments have been completed?

Mr. Freeth

The aim is that this should be an experimental reactor, and any electricity actually produced is a by-product of its research purpose. So far, it is generating about 3 megawatts of electricity. I cannot tell my hon. Friend what the total cost of the Dounreay reactor will be by the time all the experimental work on it has ceased, because I think that it will remain a very fine experimental tool for a considerable number of years.