§ 47. Captain Pilkington
asked the Paymaster-General, as representing the Lord President of the Council, what is now being done to use nuclear power in ships and other forms of transport.
§ Mr. Maudling
With regard to the use of nuclear power in ships, I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the Answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Test (Mr. J. Howard) on 23rd January. The application of nuclear power to road vehicles or railway locomotives is not practicable at present. Nuclear propulsion of aircraft also presents considerable difficulty, but preliminary studies have been made and there have also been discussions with industry on the subject.
§ 49. Mr. Hector Hughes
asked the Paymaster-General, as representing the Lord President of the Council, if he will state the gap in costs indicated by the recent conference of the United Kingdom Atomic Research Establishment, Harwell, between the nuclear propulsion of ships 178W and the methods now in operation; and what is now being done to make nuclear propulsion of ships commercially attractive.
§ Mr. Maudling
My noble Friend has been informed by the Atomic Energy Authority that investigation of nuclear propulsion of ships is still in too early a stage for the gap in costs to be estimated; but the main purpose of the work that is being done is to find a method which will make the nuclear propulsion of ships commercially attractive.