Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 9th September 2013.

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Photo of Paul Flynn Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment has been made of the amount of radium that will be released from drill cuttings at each platform used to released gas by hydraulic fracturing.

Photo of Michael Fallon Michael Fallon The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills , Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

Radium is one of the naturally-occurring products of the radioactive decay of the elements uranium and thorium. These have existed since the earth was formed and are present in all rocks. Virtually all rock types have been measured for their naturally-occurring radioactivity and the results are published widely. UK and world-wide experience suggest that the levels of naturally-occurring radioactivity in drill cuttings would be so low that they would not considered to be radioactive waste and assessment of radium releases would be unnecessary.

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