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Depleted Uranium

Volume 410: debated on Monday 18 August 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the dangers to those who come into close proximity to depleted uranium stolen from a site in Thurrock during July; and if he will make a statement. [126315]

I have been asked to reply.A container made from depleted uranium was in a van stolen from inside a warehouse on 7 July 2003. The container was part of the normal emergency equipment carried in case there should be a problem with a source of ionising radiation that had not yet been loaded into the van. The Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident and concluded that the container would be safe to approach and handle. Even if it was mistreated,

such as by fire or explosion, only very extreme conditions would result in the possibility of airborne radioactivity that could lead to low level internal exposure.

There is no reason to believe that the theft of the van was other than opportunistic.