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Effluent Treatment (Cardiff)

Volume 124: debated on Friday 18 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what were the levels of (a) beryllium and (b) natural or depleted uranium in the effluent discharges from Atomic Weapons Establishment Cardiff, formerly Royal Ordnance Factory, in the years between 1962 and 1987; and if he will publish an estimate of the likely discharge levels of these materials following the commissioning of the new effluent treatment plant.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will set out the reasons for installing an improved effluent treatment plant at the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Llanishen, Cardiff; when he expects the new plant to be commissioned; and if he will make a statement.

The existing effluent treatment plant at the atomic weapons establishment, Cardiff, reduces the beryllium waste content to a consistently low level. It continues to operate effectively and there is no reason for its immediate replacement. Like most items of plant, however, the costs of maintenance increase with time and there are therefore plans to reduce the existing effluent treatment plant in due course by plant of at least equal efficacy.