HC Deb 27 January 1960 vol 616 cc34-5W
52. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Minister of Transport from which firms he has invited tenders for a reactor for installing in a prototype ship for experimental use in the marine application of nuclear power.

Mr. Marples

Invitations to tender will be sent to the following firms and consortia: AEI-John Thompson Nuclear Energy, which is now part of the Nuclear Power Group, Babcock & Wilcox, English Electric, Hawker-Siddeley Nuclear Power, and Mitchell Engineering in association with Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering.

62. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Minister of Transport what steps he has taken to elicit, pool and apply information about. the construction and effectiveness of the United States nuclear powered cargo liner "Savannah". launched in July, 1959, in order to facilitate the construction and launching of British nuclear powered ships; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Marples

My Department is keeping in close touch with the United States authorities, having in mind particularly operational problems and questions of safety.

Facilities have been given to two nominees of the British Shipbuilding Research Association, among others, to see the vessel while she is under construction.

63. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Minister of Transport if he will make a further statement on his proposals to the shipbuilding and shipping industries to form a consortium to consider and make recommendations to him on the subject of the application of nuclear power to merchant ships and to fishing trawlers, indicating the progress made with those proposals, and when they will result in the actual building of British nuclear powered ships.

Mr. Marples

My right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty proposed last July to the General Council of British Shipping that shipowners might consider the formation of a consortium to own and arrange for the operation of the first British nuclear-powered ship.

The General Council has informed me that a committee of shipowners is now available to consider further this suggestion, and discussions will take place as soon as possible.