asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the amount of radioactive material discharged by Longannet power station during the course of its operation and the component and sources of the discharge.
Coal ash produced at Longannet generating station contains naturally occurring radioactive potassium, uranium and thorium and uranium and thorium decay products. Some 8 gigabecquerels of activity are normally discharged annually in ash in flue gases to atmosphere and 680 gigabecquerels to the ash lagoons. The concentrations of radioactive materials in the ash are smaller than those for which authorisation under the Radioactive Substances Act 1960 is required.Under an authorisation given to the Hunterston generating station to dispose of lubricating oil to Longannet for incineration, some 36 cu m of oil containing in aggregate some 9 gigabecquerels tritium, 1·7 gigabecquerels beta and 70 kilobecquerels alpha activity were disposed of in the years 1977 to 1979. No lubricating oil has been disposed of to Longannet since 1979.