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Rosyth Dockyard (Radiation Levels)

Volume 981: debated on Monday 17 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions the permitted level of radiation was exceeded at the dockyard at Rosyth in each year since 1970; and how many workers were involved in each case.

In 1970 five cases were recorded at Rosyth dockyard of workers receiving radiation doses in excess of the statutory limits. Four of these cases involved doses marginally above the limit of 3 rems for a calendar quarter, the other a dose of 5ยท75 rems. No workers exceeded their cumulative dose limit. Since then only one worker at Rosyth has been recorded as having received more than the allowable dose and in that case it appears probable that his badge was exposed to a radiation source while not being worn.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he is satisfied that the permitted levels of radiation are not being exceeded at the dockyard at Rosyth; and if he will make a statement.

As I have indicated in answer to the previous question, in the past 10 years a small number of workers at Rosyth dockyard received radiation doses in excess of the statutory limits. I am, however, satisfied that the necessary controls are being applied. In this matter my Department has the benefit of independent auditing by the Health and Safety Executive.The royal dockyards are subject to the Factories Act, and therefore to the radiation protection arrangements covered by the sealed and unsealed source regulations, all of which are enforceable by the Health and Safety Executive. HSE Factory Inspectors have free access to the dockyards and have recently expressed their satisfaction with the arrangements. Should any case of over-exposure occur, a full investigation would be carried out and a report made to the factory inspector. Formal audits of the radiological protection arrangements are also undertaken at three-yearly intervals by the Naval Radiological Protection Service. The last was in November 1979. No criticisms of the dose control arrangements were raised then or on the previous occasion.