Cabinet Office written question – answered on 26th May 2016.

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Photo of Paul Flynn Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment the Civil Contingencies Unit has made of levels of radioactive contamination in upland areas across the UK from radioactive fallout in May 1986 as a result of the Chernobyl nuclear accident.

Photo of Oliver Letwin Oliver Letwin Minister for Government Policy

The Civil Contingencies Secretariat does not make assessments of the current levels of radioactive contamination existing in upland areas across the UK. However, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) coordinates a report on radiological monitoring across the UK on behalf of Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Food Standards Scotland, Natural Resource Wales and Northern Ireland Environment Agency. This is reported annually in the report on Radioactivity in Food and the Environment (RIFE). The most recent report can be found at:

Between 1986 and 2012, the Food Standards Agency and its predecessors managed controls and routine monitoring of sheep in certain upland areas of the UK in order to protect food safety. Following a review of the evidence (which included an assessment of the levels of radio caesium in sheep within the restricted areas) and a 12-week public consultation, the Board of the Food Standards Agency agreed the lifting of the last of these controls with effect on 1 June 2012.


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