§ Mrs. Wise
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the review referred to in the Written Answer given to the hon. Member for Uxbridge (Mr. Shersby) on 7th February, of the adequacy of the present arrangements for the international control of space satellites has been completed; and if so, what conclusions were reached.
§ Mr. Judd
The Government have been particularly concerned that there should be a full assessment of the implications of the re-entry into the earth's atmosphere of a nuclear powered satellite and the attendant risks to life and property. A review by Departments of the adequacy of existing arrangements relating to the use of nuclear power sources in outer space has recently been completed.
The conclusions of the review are that the use of such power sources in outer space does not give rise to a danger of nuclear explosion and that the very small radiological hazard, should a nuclear-powered statellite impact on earth, can be reduced still further by appropriate international provisions. The Government are to this end playing an active role in discussions in the United Nations Outer Space Committee, which is the international body responsible for the formulation of such provisions.