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Radioactive Materials: Imports

Volume 504: debated on Friday 29 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 18 January 2010, Official Report, columns 17-18W, on radioactive materials: imports, what the provisions are of the strict materials accountancy regime to which reference was made in the answer; which organisation carries out the accountancy checks; and to whom that organisation reports. (313541)

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) materials accountancy regime reflects requirements in the Ionising Radiation Regulations 1999, including its associated Code of Practice, and International Atomic Energy Agency standards. These require the maintenance of accounts for radioactive material holdings and for annual inventory verification.

Within the MOD, the application of the materials accountancy regime is the responsibility of the Strategic Weapons Project Team (SWPT), part of the Defence Equipment and Support area. Individual site operators are responsible for accurate accountancy and reporting of accountable material by quantity and location; their arrangements are required to include a robust internal audit process and physical checks of holdings.

The responsibility for ensuring the conduct of audits of site operator arrangements, in respect of MOD-owned accountable material, lies with the head of SWPT, who is accountable to me in this capacity. Such an audit would include further physical inventory checking to verify the operator’s on-site inventory.