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Transport: AWE Burghfield

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 9 July 2007, Official Report, column 1286W, on transport: AWE Burghfield, under what circumstances special nuclear materials convoys travel from AWE Burghfield without (a) a visible police escort and (b) emergency support vehicles; and if he will make a statement. (149517)

I am withholding the information as its release would, or would be likely to, prejudice national security.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether local incident management plans are put in place when special nuclear materials convoys travel from AWE Burghfield; and whether local authorities are informed before those convoys travel. (149949)

The transportation of nuclear and other hazardous materials is governed by the Radioactive Material (Road Transport) (Great Britain) Regulations 2002 and the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2004 (as amended in 2005). Although the Department is exempt from the regulations, it is nevertheless MOD policy to comply with their principles although they place no obligation on a carrier to inform local authorities. The publicly available Local Authority Emergency Services Information (LAESI) document provides the emergency services, local and health authorities with information on contingency arrangements for the transport of special nuclear material.