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Windscale (Radioactive Fallout)

Volume 130: debated on Wednesday 30 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what actions the Government of Northern Ireland took in 1957 and 1958 to warn the people of Northern Ireland regarding the radioactive fallout from Windscale in October 1957; and what provisions were made to safeguard the health and welfare of the populace in Northern Ireland at that time.

No warning action was considered necessary because the radioactive material released was carried in a southerly direction across England and Wales before travelling into parts of northern Europe. It did not therefore pose any threat to Northern Ireland.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the locations in Northern Ireland where readings of radioactive fallout were taken following the fire at No. I pile at Windscale in October 1957; and if he will publish the results and dates of such readings.

I am not aware of any readings of radioactivity having been taken specifically in relation to the Windscale fire in October 1957. The routine monitoring of milk at that time for Strontium 90 indicated levels which were of no radiological significance for the population of Northern Ireland. As I have indicated in reply to a previous question from the hon. Gentleman, there was no threat to Northern Ireland from this incident, and therefore no additional monitoring action was deemed necessary.