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Volume 124: debated on Thursday 10 December 1987

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information he has as to the adequacy of the weather charts available to the National Radiological Protection Board for the period immediately after the Chernobyl accident and as to the National Radiological Protection Board's ability to build up a detailed picture of the areas with high rainfall and consequent fallout; and if he will make a statement.

I have been asked to reply.The National Radiological Protection Board had access to weather data provided by the Meteorological Office, together with information on dose rates and activity concentrations in air, rain, grass, soil and foods supplied by a number of other bodies. This was sufficient to enable a detailed assessment of any potential risks to be completed quickly so that advice on remedial and protection action could be given to Government and the public. Advice about refraining from drinking undiluted, fresh rainwater for prolonged periods was given within a day of the radiation cloud reaching the United Kingdom.