HC Deb 10 November 1970 vol 806 cc110-1W
Mr. Beaney

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if, in view of the Russian breakthrough in thermonuclear fusion by Professor Kapitsa, he will make a further statement on progress in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Ridley

The most recent article on Professor Kapitsa's work appeared in February. This described basic experiments on a system for containing and heating a gas by means of a high-frequency electro-magnetic field together with some calculations of the feasibility of a reactor based on such a system. Culham Laboratory have considered such a system but do not regard it as providing a promising approach to a nuclear fusion reactor.

The Russian laboratories concerned with fusion work, with which Culham has a full exchange of information, appear to share the same view.

British progress in nuclear fusion and plasma physics research is described in Chapter V of the recently published Annual Report of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority for 1969–70.