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Tuesday, 14 September 1971
Page: 1300


Mr Stewart asked the Minister for National Development, upon notice:

(1)   Did he inform me in answer to question No. 2835 that only one SGHW power reactor of 100 MW is in operation.

(2)   If so, on what basis of operating experience as a power reactor, does he have reasonable confidence in the safety, reliability and performance of the SGHW reactor.

(3)   Is it a fact that a sufficient number of light water power reactors have been operating long enough to undergo adequate development in the light of operating experience and could be regarded asproven.

(4)   If the position is as stated, am I entitled to consider that part of his answer to my question No. 2843 may be misleading.


Mr Swartz - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   The operating experience of the SGHW reactor at Winfrith in die United Kingdom and referred to in Part (1) of this question provides the basis for reasonable confidence in the safety, reliability and performance of the SGHW reactor. The Winfrith reactor is an integral part of the Centra] Electricity Generating Board's grid and has operated satisfactorily as a base load and a load following station for more than 3 years. I would also point out that much of the experience gained with other types of reactors is applicable to SGHW systems.

(3)   Operational experience so far with light water reactors is sufficient to justify the answer which I gave to the honourable member's question

No. 2843, namely, that boiling water reactors and pressurised water reactors, which are the 2 main types of light water power reactors, can be. built today with reasonable confidence in their safety, reliability and performance. I pointed out in my answer to the honourable member's question No. 2843 that it is not possible to say whether a reactor system is 'fully proved' without knowing what the honourable member understands by this terminology. The same comment applies to the honourable member's use of the term'proven' in the present question. The question of how many reactors it is necessary to have operating and for what length of time to provide for 'adequate development' or to establish a system as 'proven' is a matter of technical judgement.

(4)   I do not understand how my answer to question No. 2843 can be considered misleading.







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