§ Mr. Mason
asked the Prime Minister to what extent the radio-iodine content in the atmosphere increased in the London area following the Windscale atomic reactor accident; by how much it has now decreased in activity; and whether he will instruct the Medical Research Council to report to what extent it may have proved harmful genetically to all who were affected by it.
§ Mr. R. A. Butler
I have been asked to reply.
Radioactive iodine was detectable in the atmosphere over London after the Windscale accident on 11th, 12th and 13th October, 1957, but in very much smaller amounts than in the Windscale area. By 14th October, 1957, the level had fallen below the limits of detection.
At the Prime Minister's request, the Medical Research Council considered possible hazards to human health, including genetic hazards, arising from the accident. Its report, published as Annex III of the White Paper on the accident (Cmnd. 302), concluded that it wasin the highest degree unlikely that any harm was done to the health of anybody, whether a worker in the Windscale plant or a member of the general public.