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Radioactive Materials: Security

Department for Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 7th June 2016.

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Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 23 May (HL Deb, col 138), whether the same level of protection is given to storage sites for low-grade radioactive material as to nuclear power stations, and if not, what are the varying levels of protection given.

Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

In line with our international treaty obligations under the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials and Nuclear Facilities, the UK adopts a graded approach to civil nuclear security. This takes into account the level and nature of the threat, the nature of the nuclear material and the potential consequences associated with the theft of the nuclear material and with sabotage against the nuclear material or nuclear facilities.

This means that for those sites holding nuclear materials; be they operating reactor sites, research sites, decommissioning sites, or low level waste storage sites, the level of protection provided is proportionate to the risks arising from theft or sabotage.

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