Nuclear Accidents

Trade and Industry written question – answered on 2nd December 2004.

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Photo of Mr David Stewart Mr David Stewart PPS (Rt Hon Alistair Darling, Secretary of State), Department for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent assessment she has made of the threat of nuclear accident worldwide; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Mike O'Brien Mike O'Brien Minister of State (Energy & e-Commerce), Department of Trade and Industry

There is not a new assessment of the issue, however with respect to nuclear safety at civil sites in the UK, this is the responsibility of the operators who are regulated by the Health and Safety Executive's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate. The UK has in place a stringent regulatory regime which provides for the application of high standards of safety aimed both at minimising radiation exposures from normal operations and at preventing major accidental releases of radioactivity at nuclear installations.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is nominated lead Minister under National Response Plan arrangements in the unlikely event of a nuclear accident overseas. The UK has in place measures for the early notification of an accident overseas and contingency plans to deal with such an event.

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