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Radioactive Waste

Volume 987: debated on Thursday 3 July 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy what research he has authorised on the effects of an increasing radioactive inventory in the sea over time if it should make contact with living organisms; and whether he will make a statement.

I have been asked to reply.We have authorised the expenditure within our Department of £1·557 million in 1980–81 on programmes of research into radioactive pollution of the marine environment. These programmes provide scientific information on the distribution and behaviour of radionuclides in the marine environment, including the accumulative effect of these radionuclides on living organisms, and form the basis for setting controls on radioactive waste discharges. Most of this effort is devoted to near-shore areas, but a substantial commitment is being made by our Department to research related to the disposal of solid radioactive waste in the North Atlantic.