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Hms Talent

Volume 164: debated on Thursday 11 January 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the accident which caused a spillage of cooling liquid from the nuclear submarine HMS Talent at the VSEL shipyard in Barrow on 4 December; what volume of radioactive liquids were released; and what were the health implications for Royal Naval personnel and the general public in south Cumbria.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the spillage of contaminated cooling liquid from HMS Talent at the VSEL shipyard at Barrow-in-Furness; what precautions were taken; what health risks arose; and whether any civilian or service personnel were treated in hospital.

There was a leak of coolant water from HMS Talent at Barrow, at 4.40 am on 4 December. The level of radioactivity in the water was extremely low. The coolant was being pumped to an external tank when a pipe split and approximately 140 litres were released into the dock. There was no danger to the submarine's reactor. Monitoring of the water in the dock failied to detect any radiation above the normal background and there are no health implications for either Royal Navy personnel or the general public. The incident has been fully investigated and appropriate action taken.