HC Deb 22 March 1955 vol 538 cc1870-1
43. Dr. Broughton

asked the Minister of Works what scientific research is being undertaken into the spread of radioactive matter by fishes from regions of the sea polluted by nuclear explosions.

Mr. Birch

Scientific research into the possibility of the spread of radioactive matter by fishes has been undertaken since 1949 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and by the Ministry of Supply and the Atomic Energy Authority. We have also benefited from an account of the researches made by Japanese scientists in areas near the location of recent American test explosions. These researches show there is no danger of fish spreading radioactivity from areas of the sea where a nuclear explosion has been made.

Dr. Broughton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that concern about this problem has been expressed in the United States of America, and that research is being undertaken by American scientists? Could he ask that the results of their findings should be passed to scientists in this country?

Mr. Birch

We are, as I said, carrying out our own researches. In all these matters of research into the effects of radioactivity we are in the closest touch with the Americans.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Is it not a fact that radioactive fish were found hundreds of miles from the region of the last bomb explosion?

Mr. Birch

That may be so in regard to light contamination, but that does not mean that the fish remain radioactive.