HL Deb 27 April 1982 vol 429 c775
The Earl of Winchilsea and Nottingham

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

To ask Her Majesty's Government what a drilling rig was doing recently at Redlynch, near Bruton, Somerset.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Elton)

My Lords, it was boring a hole. The hole was drilled for the Institute of Geological Sciences as part of its programme. The institute is part of the Natural Environment Research Council, which approves that programme. The purpose of the investigation was to provide further information about the Palaeozoic basement in that part of the country, and it was located at Bruton because those rocks were relatively near the surface. The choice of location has no commercial significance except that being nearer the surface it is cheaper and, therefore, presumably results in a bargain basement!

The Earl of Winchilsea and Nottingham

My Lords, while I thank the noble Lord for his most courteous and brief reply, I wonder whether he can throw a small amount of additional light on this topic for me? Can he confirm that this has in no way been used, or in no way in the future could be used, for the burying of any level of nuclear waste? In other words, could this research be at any time used in the future?

Lord Elton

My Lords, the borehole had no connection with any radioactive waste disposal programme or mineral resources programme. It was undertaken entirely for scientific purposes in the geological field. I understand that the only thing that has been tipped down it so far is concrete in order to seal it, and it will not be used for anything else in the future.

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