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Volume 229: debated on Tuesday 27 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the radiological consequences of the spillage of plutonium at the AEA Technology plant at Dounreay on 29 June; and when his Department first learned of the incident.

On the morning of 30 June the Atomic Energy Authority reported to my Department that two workers at Dounreay had been contaminated following the opening of a drum which contained centrifuge filter bodies in sealed bags. Subsequent reports indicated that detailed checks had been carried out to determine whether there had been any intake of material by personnel either directly involved in the operation or nearby. As a result, early analysis suggested that one worker would be subject to further checks in order to determine the precise level of material ingested. Two other workers were confirmed as having received significantly less exposure. The cause of the incident is being investigated by the Atomic Energy Authority and the nuclear installations inspectorate.