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Sellafield (Radioactivity)

Volume 19: debated on Tuesday 2 March 1982

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52.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what reason has been given to the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate of the Health and Safety Commission for the two-day delay in reporting the abnormally high increase of radioactivity from the stack at Sellafield on 4 October 1981; and whether this has been found satisfactory by the inspectorate.

I am advised by the chairman of the Health and Safety Commission that BNFL's explanation to the NII was that the time was needed to assess with sufficient confidence the activity released and its possible effects on the environment. The inspectorate considers that BNFL should have reported to it at an earlier stage. As I announced to the House on 19 October 1981, procedures for the reporting of nuclear incidents are currently being reviewed by the NH.