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Nuclear Waste (Carriage)

Volume 979: debated on Thursday 28 February 1980

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asked the Minister of Transport how often trains carrying nuclear waste pass through Wolverhampton.

I am informed that from four to six trains carrying irradiated fuel may pass through Wolverhampton each week.

asked the Minister of Transport what studies have been carried out as to the effects of a train carrying nuclear waste crashing at 60 mph.

In the USA, several crashes have been staged involving rocket propelled vehicles, including a railway-wagon, carrying fuel flasks designed to the same internationally accepted safety standards as applied in this country.Impact speeds in these crashes ranged up to 82 mph. In each instance the flask survived the crash with only superficial damage.

asked the Minister of Transport what studies are being carried out into the safety aspects of empty nuclear waste flasks being carried on trains carrying explosives; how often this has occurred; if he will take steps to ensure that this does not happen again; and if he will make a statement.

I am informed that no such studies are being undertaken. The empty nuclear fuel flasks to which the hon. Member refers would only contain residual radioactivity of a low order.