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Radioactive Waste (Disposal)

Oral Answers to Questions — Technology – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th March 1968.

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Photo of Mr Alexander Eadie Mr Alexander Eadie , Midlothian 12:00 am, 18th March 1968

asked the Minister of Technology if he is satisfied that the methods of disposal of radioactive effluents from Atomic Energy Authority establishments and other bodies under his jurisdiction are effective; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Edwin Brooks Mr Edwin Brooks , Bebington

asked the Minister of Technology to whom notification is made of the transport of radioactive effluent, by road, rail or inland waterway, from the Atomic Energy Authority's establishments and from the Magnox and advanced gas-cooled reactor stations.

Photo of Dr Jeremy Bray Dr Jeremy Bray , Middlesbrough West

Radioactive waste from United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority establishments can only be disposed of with the authority of my right hon. Friends the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Minister of Housing and Local Government or the Secretary of State for Scotland. The approval of my right hon. Friends the Minister of Transport or the President of the Board of Trade, according to the method of transport, is required for the movement of radioactive waste in certain cases. Port authorities need to be notified in advance of the movement of some classes of goods.

Photo of Mr Alexander Eadie Mr Alexander Eadie , Midlothian

Is my hon. Friend aware that there have been various statements in the Press which cast some doubts on the methods of radioactive waste disposal? Is he aware that the Soviet Union has complained that Britain is polluting marine life?

Photo of Dr Jeremy Bray Dr Jeremy Bray , Middlesbrough West

The reports derive from Russia, and I think my hon. Friend will be aware that, as was pointed out in the article, Russia did far more to pollute the oceans by her last series of dirty hydrogen bomb tests than centuries of carefully controlled dumping could do.

Photo of Sir Henry Legge-Bourke Sir Henry Legge-Bourke , Isle of Ely

Is the Minister aware that we on this side of the House admire the immense care which the Atomic Energy Authority takes not to cause the sort of pollution of which it is accused by the Soviet Union, and that the Soviet Union had better look to its own behaviour first?

Photo of Dr Jeremy Bray Dr Jeremy Bray , Middlesbrough West

Is is certainly true that the greatest care is taken in the disposal of radioactive effluents.