Atomic Energy Authority Act 1954

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1954 c. 32


Atomic Energy Authority Act , 1954

(2 & 3 Eliz. 2) CHAPTER 32

An Act to provide for the setting up of an Atomic Energy Authority for the United Kingdom, to make provision as to their powers, duties, rights and liabilities, to amend, consequentially on the establishment of and otherwise in connection with that Authority, the Atomic Energy Act, 1946, the Radioactive Substances Act, 1948, and certain other enactments, and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.

1 The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.

(1) There shall be an Authority, to be called the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (hereafter in this Act referred to as ‘the Authority’), who shall, as from the appointed day, exercise and perform the functions assigned to them by this Act.

(2) The Authority shall consist of a chairman and not less than seven nor more than ten other members.

(3) All the members of the Authority shall be appointed by the Lord President of the Council and of those members—

(a ) three shall be appointed from amongst persons appearing to the Lord President of the Council to be persons who have had wide experience of, and shown capacity in dealing with, problems associated with atomic energy; and

(b ) one shall be appointed from amongst persons appearing to the Lord President of the Council to have had wide experience of, and shown capacity in, administration and finance; and

(c ) one shall be appointed from amongst persons appearing to the Lord President of the Council to have had wide experience of, and shown capacity in, the organisation of workers.

(4) Every member of the Authority shall hold and vacate his office in accordance with the terms of his appointment, and shall, on ceasing to be a member, be eligible for re-appointment; but any member may at any time by notice in writing to the Lord President of the Council resign his office.

(5) A person shall be disqualified for being appointed or being a member of the Authority so long as he is a member of the Commons House of Parliament.

(6) The Authority—

(a ) shall pay to each of their members, in respect of his office as such, such remuneration (whether by way of salary or fees) and such allowances as the Lord President of the Council may, with the approval of the Treasury, determine in the case of those members respectively; and

(b ) in the case of such members as the Lord President of the Council may, with the approval of the Treasury, determine, shall pay such pensions or make such payments towards the provision of pensions to or in respect of those members as he may, with the approval of the Treasury, determine in the case of those members respectively.

(7) If any member of the Authority, other than the chairman thereof, is employed about the affairs of the Authority otherwise than as a member thereof, the Authority shall pay to that member such remuneration, if any, (in addition to any remuneration to which he may be entitled in respect of his office as a member) as the Lord President of the Council may, with the approval of the Treasury, determine.

(8) The Lord President of the Council shall, as soon as possible after the passing of this Act, lay before each House of Parliament a statement of the remuneration and allowances that are or will be payable to the members of the Authority under this section; and, if any subsequent determination by him under this section involves any departure from the terms of the said statement or if a determination by him under this section relates to the payment of, or to payments towards the provision of, a pension to or in respect of any member of the Authority, the Lord President of the Council shall, as soon as possible after the determination, lay a statement thereof before each House of Parliament.

(9) The provisions of the First Schedule to this Act (which relate to the procedure of and other similar matters concerning the Authority) shall have effect with respect to the Authority.

S-2 Functions of the Authority.

2 Functions of the Authority.

(1) On the appointed day, the Authority shall take over from the Lord President of the Council the carrying on of the activities then being carried on by him under subsection (1) of section two of the Atomic Energy Act, 1946, and subsection (1) of section one of the Radioactive Substances Act, 1948, and the provisions of the Second Schedule to this Act shall have effect in relation to the property, rights and liabilities held or enjoyed by, or incumbent on, the Lord President of the Council for the purposes of or in connection with those activities.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Authority shall, as from the appointed day, have power (whether within the United Kingdom or elsewhere)—

(a ) to produce, use and dispose of atomic energy and carry out research into any matters connected therewith;

(b ) to manufacture or otherwise produce, buy or otherwise acquire, store and transport any articles which in the opinion of the Authority are, or are likely to be, required for or in connection with the production or use of atomic energy or such research as aforesaid, and to dispose of any articles manufactured, produced, bought or acquired by them;

(c ) to manufacture or otherwise produce, buy or otherwise acquire, treat, store, transport and dispose of any radioactive substances;

(d ) to do all such things (including the erection of buildings, and the execution of works and the searching for and working of minerals) as appear to the Authority necessary or expedient for the exercise of the foregoing powers;

(e ) to make arrangements with universities and other institutions or persons for the conduct of research into matters connected with atomic energy or radioactive substances and, with the approval of the Lord President of the Council and the Treasury, to make grants or loans to universities and other institutions or persons engaged in the production or use of atomic energy or radioactive substances or in research into matters connected with atomic energy or radioactive substances;

(f ) to distribute information relating to, and educate and train persons in matters connected with, atomic energy or radioactive substances:

Provided that—

(i) the Authority shall not, save in accordance with arrangements made with the Minister of Supply, develop or produce any weapon or part of a weapon, except that nothing in this proviso shall limit the power of the Authority to conduct experimental work which may lead to improved types of explosive nuclear assemblies for atomic weapons;

(ii) the Authority shall not search for minerals in the United Kingdom otherwise than under the authority of the Lord President of the Council and shall not work minerals in the United Kingdom otherwise than in the exercise of rights vested in them under section seven of the Atomic Energy Act, 1946, as amended by this Act.

(3) As from the appointed day, subsection (1) of section two of the Atomic Energy Act, 1946, section three of that Act and section one of the Radioactive Substances Act, 1948, are hereby repealed:

Provided that, notwithstanding the repeal by this section of subsection (1) of section two of the Atomic Energy Act, 1946, the Lord President of the Council shall have power—

(a ) to exercise any rights vested in him under section seven of that Act; and

(b ) to store, transport and dispose of any articles acquired by him in the exercise of those rights or in or by reason of any exercise of the powers conferred on him by sections six, eight and nine of that Act; and

(c ) to do all such things (including the erection of buildings and the execution of works) as appear to him to be necessary or expedient for the exercise of the powers reserved to him by the preceding provisions of this proviso.

S-3 Power and duties of the Lord President of the Council in relation to the Authority.

3 Power and duties of the Lord President of the Council in relation to the Authority.

(1) The general duty of the Lord President of the Council under section one of the Atomic Energy Act, 1946, to promote and control the development of atomic energy shall include, in particular, the duty of securing that, in the conduct of the affairs of the Authority, the proper degrees of importance are attached to the various applications of atomic energy.

(2) The Lord President of the Council shall have power to give the Authority such directions as he may think fit and the Authority shall comply with any directions so given.

(3) The said directions may be general or particular in character, but no such direction shall be given except after consultation with the Authority, and the Lord President of the Council shall not regard it as his duty to intervene in detail in the conduct by the Authority of their affairs unless in his opinion overriding national interests so require.

(4) The Authority shall furnish the Lord President of the Council with such returns, accounts and other information with respect to their property and activities as he may from time to time require and shall prepare programmes and estimates of...

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