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Nuclear Materials (Transportation)

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether vessels transporting nuclear material are escorted by the Royal Navy. (84866)

[holding answer 13 July 2006]: All shipments of civil nuclear material on a UK flagged vessel are carried out in accordance with the Nuclear Industries Security Regulations (NISR) 2003 which are administered and enforced by the Government's independent security regulator, the Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS). Before any shipment can commence, OCNS must be satisfied that the overall security measures are adequately robust to prevent the theft or sabotage of the material being transported.

British flagged transport vessels carrying nuclear material are not routinely escorted by the Royal Navy, but, where appropriate, prior coordination with the Royal Navy will be an important factor in the assessment of a Transport Security Plan. The ships will carry an escort unit of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary's (CNC) Marine Escort Group, which provides armed security for nuclear materials in transit. The Marine Escort Group has been specially trained to a high standard by the Royal Navy.