HC Deb 29 November 1973 vol 865 cc202-3W
Mr. Maclennan

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement about the progress of the development of the prototype fast breeder reactor at Dounreay.

Mr. Tom Boardman

Integrated commissioning of the prototype fast reactor at Dounreay started in July with sodium filling of the primary circuit. The complete range of tests in temperatures up to 250 degrees C proceeded smoothly and according to timetable. Satisfactory operation of the sodium circulating pumps and the control rod mechanisms and satisfactory behaviour of the core structure were confirmed. Whilst the temperature was being raised for higher temperature tests the instruments on one of the three sodium pumps gave unsatisfactory indications and on examination one of the shaft bearings was found to have seized. The pump will be replaced with a spare, but meanwhile commissioning of the primary circuit continues using other pumps.

During commissioning of one of the three secondary circuits—in which steam is raised—the bearing failed on the pump, which has now been removed for replacement.

Inquiry Number of weeks taken (to nearest whole week)
Unilever/Allied Breweries 15
Rank Organisation/De la Rue 15
British Sidac/Transparent Paper 15
Beecham/Glaxo 20
British Match/Wilkinson Sword 11
Inquiry Number of months taken (to nearest whole month)
The supply of fire insurance 38
The supply of asbestos and certain asbestos products 35
The supply of starch, glucoses and modified starches 22
The supply and export of wire and fibre ropes 27
Connection charges for electricity and gas 10
The practice of parallel pricing 22
The supply and export of machinery for the manufacture of footwear 19
The prices of ready cooked breakfast cereals 14
The prices of Chlordiazepoxide and Diazepam 17
The supply of plasterboard 13
The supply of cross-Channel car ferry service 13

Notes :

(1) There are at present before the Commission 10 monopoly and 2 merger references on which inquiries are in progress

(2) The length of time is measured from the date of the reference to the date on which the report was signed