Reactor Exports

Oral Answers to Questions — Energy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th November 1974.

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Photo of Mr Frank Hooley Mr Frank Hooley , Sheffield, Heeley 12:00 am, 25th November 1974

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what action his Department is taking to explore overseas markets for the SGHWR nuclear-power reactor.

Photo of Mr Alexander Eadie Mr Alexander Eadie , Midlothian

Effective exploitation of the SGHWR overseas will relate to the successful implementation of our domestic programme. My Department keeps in close touch with the nuclear industry, other Departments concerned and posts abroad about export opportunities.

Photo of Mr Frank Hooley Mr Frank Hooley , Sheffield, Heeley

Does my hon. Friend agree that, in the light of the rather disappointing export performance of Magnox, it is most important that this new type of reactor should contribute to our export earnings? Is he aware that this design could have valuable applications in developing countries?

Photo of Mr Alexander Eadie Mr Alexander Eadie , Midlothian

I take note of what my hon. Friend has said. It is significant that the export performance of Magnox was more successful than the AGR. I think that two Magnox reactors were exported. On the second point, the SGHWR certainly has aroused a great deal of interest abroad, and to that extent it justifies the decision taken by the Government.

Photo of Mr Arthur Palmer Mr Arthur Palmer , Bristol North East

Does my hon. Friend agree that for progress to be made with the steam generating heavy water reactor, both at home and abroad, a great deal depends on the rationalisation of the manufacturing side of the industry? Will he tell us what progress is being made with the National Nuclear Corporation?

Photo of Mr Alexander Eadie Mr Alexander Eadie , Midlothian

My hon. Friend makes a very good point. I think he will be interested to know that my right hon. Friend will shortly be making a statement on that matter. I assure him that the Government are conscious of the points he has made.