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Uranium (Transportation)

Volume 979: debated on Monday 25 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment in what kind of vessels uranium hexafluoride and enriched hexafluoride are carried; what sort of impact theses vessels can stand; and if there is a maximum speed laid down for the lorries carrying enriched hexafluoride.

I have been asked to reply.These materials, which present a relatively low radiological hazard, are carried in cylindrical steel containers which must comply with the requirements laid down in the internationally-accepted regulations applied to the carriage of radioactive materials in this country. In the case of significantly-enriched hexafluoride these include the ability to withstand an impact resulting from a 9-metre fall onto an unyielding surface.Vehicles carrying these materials are not subject to any special speed restrictions arising from the radioactive nature of the load nor do they need to be so restricted.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if URENCO is satisfied with the safety standards for the transportation of uranium hexafluoride and enriched hexafluoride within the United Kingdom.

I have been asked to reply.Safety standards are prescribed by national regulations for the carriage of radioactive materials. Members of URENCO, when consigning these materials, must comply with the relevant regulations. I am satisfied that the internationally-accepted standards thus applied in this country provide adequate protection for the public. I have received no indication that URENCO is dissatisfied with these standards but any representations from it with a view to regulatory changes would of course be carefully considered.