HC Deb 06 June 1967 vol 747 cc153-4W
34. Mr. Ridley

asked the Minister of Technology, in view of the failure of the Atomic Energy Authority to produce civil nuclear reactor designs that are internationally competitive, if he will set up an inquiry to consider how to reform the Atomic Energy Authority.

Mr. Benn

I do not accept the hon. Member's criticism of the Atomic Energy Authority. The Select Committee on Science and Technology is at present examining the nuclear reactor programme and all issues connected with it. The setting up of a parallel inquiry would confuse the issue.

41. Mr. Finch

asked the Minister of Technology if he will seek to arrange that the costs incurred by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority in research into civilian nuclear power reactors are charged against the operating costs of those stations, instead of to the Exchequer as at present.

Mr. Benn

The policy of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority is to seek to secure such return, principally by way of royalties, as the market will bear; and as my hon. Friend told the House of 9th May agreement has recently been reached concerning the royalty to be paid by C.E.G.B. on its first A.G.R. stations.

Mr. J. H. Osborn

asked the Minister of Technology what plans he has for extending research and development in the atomic energy establishments, beyond that directly connected with atomic energy.

Mr. Benn

The resources of the Authority will be used for non-atomic Research and Development work of importance to the economy where it is appropriate to do so. Each proposal is looked at on its merits and with regard to other means of seeing that the work is done.