HC Deb 14 December 1949 vol 470 cc273-4W
94. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Minister of supply if he will make a statement on the progress made or the prospect of the use of atomic energy for industrial, medical and other non-military uses; what are the prospects of the utilisation of atomic energy or resources of atomic materials for power purposes; and if he will consider the need for the publication of a White Paper so that the progress made in four years can be studied, and include Sir John Cockcroft's description of the results of British atomic research made at the World Power Conference.

Mr. J. Freeman

The development of atomic energy for power production is still in its early stages and, although much knowledge has already been gained, it would be premature to make a detailed statement about the prospects. Research on the fundamental scientific problems involved is being carried out at Harwell and special proposals for the construction of new types of experimental nuclear reactors for power production, from which experience will be gained, are now being prepared, but my right hon. Friend does not think that the issue of a White Paper would be appropriate at the present stage.

Substantial progress has been made in the use of radio-isotopes for industrial, medical and research purposes. Production at Harwell is increasing steadily and the number of deliveries made in November was 273, 43 more than the previous highest monthly figure. New uses for radio-isotopes are being contsantly explored.

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