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Hms Challenger

Volume 210: debated on Thursday 25 June 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress his Department has made in its efforts to dispose of the former Royal Navy seabed operations vessel HMS Challenger; whether a ship has been identified to operate the LR5 submersible in addition to CS Alert; what steps have been taken to use or dispose of the towed unmanned submersible; and if he will make a statement.

The marketing of HMS Challenger and its towed unmanned submersible system is continuing. A number of vessels have been identified that would be capable of operating the LR5 submersible. We are considering the way forward.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much low, intermediate and high-level waste is at present stored at AWRE Aldermaston.

At December 1991, which is the latest date for which figures are available, 1,800 cu m of low level waste and 2,100 cu m of intermediate level waste were stored at AWE Aldermaston.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library copies of the results of the studies carried out over the last 20 years on the levels of radioactive contamination present in soil within the perimeter fence of AWRE Aldermaston.

The information as requested is not readily available and can be produced in an appropriate form only at disproportionate cost. However, Aldermaston conducts an extensive programme of external environmental monitoring whose results are made available annually to the statutory authorities and local authorities. I will place a copy of the most recent issue of the off-site environmental report, which includes trends over many years, in the Library of the House.