HC Deb 06 July 1970 vol 803 cc302-3
10. Mr. Wall

asked the Minister of Technology if he will make a statement on the development of a nuclear-propelled merchant ship.

Mr. Ridley

We will consider the report of the study by the Department which suggests that a Government nuclear ship project would not be economically justifiable at present.

Mr. Wall

Is my hon. Friend aware that most of the major maritime nations will soon have a prototype nuclear-propelled ship at sea? Is he satisfied that British development can continue in this important field without also having a ship at sea?

Mr. Ridley

We should like to study the report, which we have only just received, but I wonder whether there is any great advantage in having a nuclear ship at sea if it is not economically justifiable. But we have not yet studied the question fully.