To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what quantity of (a) alpha particles, (b) caesium 137, (c) plutonium and (d) iodine the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority is authorised to discharge into the air and sea at the Dounreay facility each year; (2) what amount of alpha radiation Dounreay normally is allowed to release into the atmosphere in the form of particles of plutonium 239. 
The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority is authorised to dispose of radioactive waste to air and sea by two separate authorisations which set limits on the quantity of radionuclides or groups of radionuclides which may be discharged by a variety of routes. Full details of these authorisations are given in the published Scottish Office statistical bulletin—Env/1995/3—entitled "Radioactive Waste Disposals From Nuclear Sites in Scotland: 1990 to 1994" and a copy of the bulletin is available from the Library of the House. The following limits apply specifically to alpha emitting radionuclides, caesium 137, plutonium 241 and iodine 131.
|Discharges to sea|
|Alpha emitting radionuclides (excluding curium 242)||0.75 Terabecquerels per annum|
|Caesium 137||50 Terabecquerels per annum|
|Plutonium 241||15 Terabecquerels per annum|
|Curium 242||1 Terabecquerel per annum|
|Discharges to air. from the Fuel Cycle Area|
|Alpha emitting radionuclides (including plutonium 239 but excluding curium 242 and 244)||1 Gigabecquerel per annum|
|Caesium 137||7 Gigabecquerels per annum|
|Plutonium 241||5 Gigabecquerels per annum|
|Iodine 129||4 Gigabecquerels per annum|
|Iodine 131||3 Gigabecquerels per annum|
|Curium 242||1 Gigabecquerel per annum|
|Curium 244||0.1 Gigabecquerel per annum|
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what inquiries he has undertaken into the hazards of radioactive elements discharged from the Dounreay facility into the sea and atmosphere. 
Extensive monitoring of the environment around Dounreay is carried out by both the site operator and Her Majesty's industrial pollution inspectorate. The results of this monitoring are published and copies of the Scottish Office bulletin "Environmental Monitoring for Radioactivity in Scotland" and the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority's publication on "Radioactive Waste Discharges from UKAEA Establishments" are available in the Library of the House. The published results demonstrate that doses to the public as a result of discharges from Dounreay are small and well within internationally agreed limits.
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what monitoring of the area around Dounreay, including Orkney coastal areas, is taking place to ascertain where plutonium particles accidentally discharged on 11 February of the current year were deposited. 
The unplanned discharge of plutonium particulate material from the Dounreay site which occurred on 11 February was small when compared with the authorised discharge limits. These limits are set to ensure that the dose to the most exposed group in the population is extremely low and well within internationally agreed limits. The very extensive environmental monitoring programme in place around Dounreay is adequate to provide information on this and other discharges from the site. Information on this environmental monitoring programme is contained in the Scottish Office statistical bulletin "Environmental Monitoring for Radioactivity in Scotland" and a copy of this bulletin is in the Library of the House.