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Nuclear Incidents: National Response Plan

Volume 492: debated on Thursday 21 January 1988

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asked Her Majesty's Government:When the proposals for implementing the Government's National Response Plan for dealing with overseas nuclear incidents are to be finalised and published.

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Environment has today announced that following the Prime Minister's statement of 30th June last year proposals for implementing the National Response Plan have now been finalised. In the extremely unlikely event of another accident like Chernobyl, the national radiation monitoring network (RIMNET) which will be set up as part of the plan will be able to detect and monitor its consequences.RIMNET will provide for radiation monitoring data from across the country to be assembled and analysed rapidly. It will be linked into modern communications systems that enable information bulletins to be supplied to the media and the public in a routine and regular way. This will ensure that people are kept fully informed of the development of the incident and the consequences of any nuclear incident overseas.The first phase of the system will be installed in the first half of this year, 1988. This will provide a fully operational radiation detection network and associated procedures for disseminating information about any incident. The system will be tested in an emergency simulation exercise in the autumn. The network will be progressively upgraded with the aim of having a fully automated system by 1989.It will also be possible to use RIMNET, along with other contingency plans, to help deal with the consequences of any nuclear accident in this country.The Government's proposals have been published today in a booklet,

The National Response Plan and Radiation Incident Monitoring Network (RIMNET). A Statement of Proposals, published by HMSO. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.