HC Deb 14 October 1968 vol 770 cc10-1
11. Mr. Hooley

asked the Minister of Technology which countries in Europe have formally indicated to Her Majesty's Government their willingness to cooperate with the United Kingdom in the design and production of nuclear power plant.

Mr. Benn

The design and production of nuclear power plant is primarily now the concern of industrial organisations. British industry is collaborating with firms in Germany, Italy, Belgium and France on gas-cooled reactors, and the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority has collaborative arrangements on nuclear fuel manufacture with firms in the first three of these countries.

Mr. Hooley

Is my right hon. Friend satisfied that the proposed reorganisation of the nuclear power plant industry will enable co-operation and collaboration with other countries to continue?

Mr. Benn

I am not only satisfied that it will enable it to continue, but one of the major reasons why the reorganisation proposal was adopted was that we thought it would facilitate it and make it easier.

Mr. Lubbock

Has the right hon. Gentleman studied the information which I sent him shortly before the Recess about the West German plans for a 25 megawatt high temperature reactor coupled to a helium gas turbine at Geesthact, and a 300-megawatt design based on the treble reactor at Jülich? What steps is the right hon. Gentleman taking to make sure that this country stays ahead in gas-cooled reactor technology in which she has excelled hitherto?

Mr. Benn

I think that I wrote to the hon. Gentleman about this. I cannot reproduce everything that I said in answer to his question, but this is one of the aspects which we have very much in mind.