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Nuclear Fuel (Transportation)

Volume 987: debated on Thursday 3 July 1980

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asked the Minister of Tranport (1) what arrangements are made to ensure that trains carrying spent nuclear fuel keep on the move, make no long stays in sidings, and have a police escort:(2) if he is satisfied that there are adequate procedures for ensuring that spent nuclear fuel being carried by trains is not being carried with incompatible cargo;(3) if he will ensure that those trains carrying spent nuclear fuel take special precautions when passing other trains, particularly high speed trains or petrol wagons;(4) if he will take additional steps to reassure the public that trains carrying spent nuclear fuel are adequately safe.

Irradiated nuclear fuels are transported under conditions laid down in detail in internationally agreed regulations. I am fully satisfied that these regulations, which are administered in this country by this Department and are kept under constant review, provide adequate protection for the public.When transporting consignments of these materials by rail the British Railways Board is responsible for operational arrangements, and for ensuring they meet the requirements laid down by the regulations. I am satisfied that the present arrangements, which the board keeps under review, are satisfactory.