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Nuclear Submarines: Safety

Volume 505: debated on Friday 5 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 9 November 2009, Official Report, column 46W, on nuclear submarines, what methodology the Health and Safety Executive’s Nuclear Installations Inspectorate used to determine the radius of the emergency pre-planning zone around a berthed nuclear-powered submarine. (314712)

I have been asked to reply.

As required under the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2001, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) identified the potential radiation hazards from berthed nuclear-powered submarines and furnished this information to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Having assessed the hazards so identified, HSE formed the judgment that a Detailed Emergency Planning Zone (DEPZ) set at a radius of 1.5 km from the submarines would provide a valid area in which the arrangements of local authorities should be applied to protect the public and society in the event of a reasonably foreseeable radiation emergency involving one of the submarines. The decision to reduce the DEPZ from 2 km to 1.5 km took account of an improved analysis of the potential radiation hazards by MOD.