HC Deb 01 June 1962 vol 660 cc165-6W
Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Transport if he will make a further statement about the development of nuclear propulsion for merchant shipping.

Mr. Marples

The Government's policy is to pursue a vigorous programme of research aimed at a reactor system which is economically attractive to a wide range of shipping. This programme will cost about £3 million spread over about three years and is being carried out by the Atomic Energy Authority in conjunction with the nuclear industry. Its scope is determined by a high level Working Group on which shipowners and Shipbuilders are represented.

The latest development, announced on 16th May, is the signing of an agreement between the Atomic Energy Authority and a consortium of Belgian companies to develop an advanced version of the pressurised water reactor which shows promise for marine propulsion.

We are co-operating in the studies which are being made by the European Nuclear Energy Agency of the possibility of constructing and operating a nuclear merchant ship on an international basis.

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