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Volume 972: debated on Monday 29 October 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the review by Urenco, promised in June, of its detailed security arrangements; what action the Governments of Great Britain, Holland and West Germany, as partners in the centrifuge project, are taking to strengthen the tripartite arrangements; and if he will make a statement.

As requested by the joint committee of the three Governments at their meeting in June, Urenco has reviewed its security procedures; and has made a number of recommendations. In addition the implementation of existing Troika security procedures in the United Kingdom has been reviewed and an assurance given to the joint committee that they are being fully observed.The joint committee considered the Urenco report at its meeting on 19 September. The joint committee concluded that the existing tripartite security rules and procedures were in principle adequate, but agreed on a number of detailed points on which improvements needed to be considered. It has arranged for these to be studied urgently by security experts of the three Governments.The joint committee also noted that effective security depended on the thorough and continued application of the present tripartite rules and procedures. It agreed to reinforce the arrangements for monitoring the application of these rules, and for the submission to the joint committee of regular reports by the appropriate security authorities of the three countries of the results of such monitoring.A report from the Netherlands authorities on their investigation of the Khan incident was not available to the joint committee at its last meeting. The joint committee is due to meet again on Friday 16 November and will again review Urenco security in the light of any further information then available.