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Volume 210: debated on Thursday 25 June 1992

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information his Department has received, and what action he has taken, following the discovery of radioactively contaminated hydroidorganisms on the beaches near Sellafield.

Ministry inspectors have received regular reports from British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) during their investigation of the recent incident. It is probable that a damaged diffuser mechanism at the end of the sea discharge pipeline led to hydroids being washed into the pipeline and exposed to liquid radioactive waste before being dislodged and deposited on to the beach. The damaged diffuser has been replaced.I have asked my officials to ensure that BNFL takes steps to avoid a recurrence of this sort of incident.