To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many reportable incidents or accidents took place at atomic weapons research establishment. Aldermaston in each year since 1962; and if he will detail where possible the type of accident or incident that occurred.
The total number of reportable incidents or accidents in each of the years 1962 to 1991 was:
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place copies in the Library of the results of the studies carried out over the last 20 years on the levels of radiation present within any form of wildlife living within the perimeter fence of AWRE Aldermaston.
A single study involving rabbits taken from inside and outside a specific compound within the AWE perimeter fence was conducted in 1977. The results showed barely detectable differences in contamination at a level that is radiologically insignificant. No other studies have been undertaken, nor are any considered necessary, since regular on-site monitoring of soil and vegetation shows insignificant levels or radioactivity.Certain details in the 1977 study report relating to activities carried out at specific sites at Aldermaston are classified. However, my officials are preparing a declassified version of the report which I will place in the Library in due course.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much low, intermediate and high-level waste is expected to be produced and stored at AWRE Aldermaston over the next 10 years.
The estimated volumes of intermediate and low level waste generated at AWE Aldermaston to the end of 2001 will be about 2,300 and 36,000 cu m respectively. No high-level waste is produced there. Long term storage of all intermediate and some low-level wastes is carried out safely in purpose built stores at the site pending disposal to the national repository which is planned to be available in 2005. Until then, all intermediate-level waste will continue to be stored on the site. However, most of the low-level waste is regularly disposed of by approved means at the existing land burial site, operated by British Nuclear Fuels plc at Drigg in Cumbria.