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Volume 928: debated on Thursday 17 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many instances of radioactive leakage at nuclear power stations and at other Government institutions where radioactive materials are used have been reported during the last 10 years; in how many such cases illness attributed to radioactivity has been recorded amongst persons working in such places; and in how many cases death has occurred.

I am advised that no occurrences involving any release of radioactivity causing or likely to cause death or serious injury have been reported by licensees of nuclear installations during the past 10 years. Any such occurrences would have been required to be reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) under the Nuclear Installations (Dangerous Occurrences) Regulations 1965. Nuclear installations operated by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) or by Government Departments are not subject to control under these regulations, but under equivalent arrangements during the same period no such occurrences have been reported. Comprehensive figures for all leaks of radioactivity, most of which are very minor, are not available, but in no instance are radioactive leaks at licensed sites, UKAEA or Government Department sites believed to have caused any significant risk of harm to anyone. I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Dunbartonshire, West (Mr. Campbell) on 2nd February 1977 about the arrangements being made for future reporting of occurrences and the publication of a quarterly statement by the HSE.