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Civil Nuclear Security

Volume 450: debated on Friday 20 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he has asked the Director of Civil Nuclear Security to investigate the adequacy of the transport security statement attached to the consignment of irradiated nuclear fuel involved in the incident in which a fake bomb was placed on a train carrying spent nuclear fuel in a siding in north-west London. (94226)

The transportation of spent nuclear fuel is carried out in a secure manner, in accordance with stringent security regulations—the Nuclear Industries Security Regulations 2003 (NISR). These regulations are administered and enforced by the Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS), which regulates the security of such movements of spent nuclear fuel.

OCNS has carried out a thorough investigation of the incident referred to. This investigation included reviewing the existing Transport Security Statement (TSS) for Direct Rail Services (DRS), the nuclear rail freight operating company in question. While as a result of the investigation some minor amendments to the TSS have been made, OCNS remains satisfied that standards detailed within that TSS were sufficiently robust to prevent the theft or sabotage of nuclear material and that DRS was fully compliant with the TSS at that time.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many staff from the UK Atomic Energy Authority have been seconded to the Office for Civil Nuclear Security to assist in vetting; what contractual arrangements cover the secondments; and over what time period the secondments have been agreed. (94228)

Two members of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) have been seconded to the Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS) to assist in the vetting process. They are on UKAEA Dounreay site establishment and will only be employed on the processing of UKAEA clearances. Both individuals are on two year Fixed Term Appointments (1 March 2006 to 28 February 2008). On a day-to-day basis they are managed directly by OCNS.