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Nuclear Waste (Transportation)

Volume 973: debated on Thursday 8 November 1979

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asked the Minister of Transport whether he will set up an independent inquiry into all aspects of the movement of nuclear waste through highly industrialised and populated areas such as London, to ascertain to what extent the present safety precautions are satisfactory.

asked the Minister of Transport what special provision is made for railway workers concerned with the transport of nuclear waste through Stratford E15 to check that the radiation dose is below the danger level; and in how many cases since 1976 there have been incidents notified to the Health and Safety Executive in which the exterior surface of the flasks used have been found to be contaminated in excess of these limits.

All flasks used to carry irradiated nuclear fuel are fully checked on site prior to despatch to ensure that the radiation levels are within internationally agreed limits. These limits are in themselves well below any danger level.The British Railways Board is satisfied that the regulatory provisions, together with its own well-proven operational procedures, are fully adequate to ensure the safety of its workers.

Since 1976, eight instances of minor contamination above the permitted levels have been reported to the Health and Safety Executive. In no case did this result in significant levels of radiation or a hazard to workers or to members of the public.