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Nuclear Rail Freight

Volume 447: debated on Wednesday 14 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether local authorities along the rail routes taken by trains transporting nuclear material are required to prepare emergency plans to deal with an incident involving one of these trains. (73316)

I have been asked to reply.

Part 1 of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 establishes a statutory framework for civil protection activity at the local level. Under this legislation all principal local authorities and other key partners are required to maintain emergency plans, informed by risk assessments, to ensure that they can mobilise an effective emergency response to a range of emergencies including transport accidents. The legislation also requires local authorities and other key partners to exercise these plans and ensure that relevant staff receive adequate training.

The transport of radioactive material, including nuclear materials, is governed by the stringent internationally agreed standards recommended by the International Atomic Energy Agency.