HC Deb 16 December 1960 vol 632 cc87-8W
Mr. Paget

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty the extent of the radioactive discharge from Polaris and the engines of nuclear submarines; and what form this discharge is expected to take.

Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing

There is no radioactive discharge from the Polaris missile. The discharge from the nuclear reactor of a submarine is a liquid effluent, which takes the form of excess primary coolant, and arises when the reactor plant is brought up to operat- ing temperature after being shut down. This effluent is discharged into the water, but the level of radioactivity is low and the amount is small. The discharge takes place only infrequently—for example, when a submarine is getting ready for sea—and within agreed limits designed to ensure that no hazard is created.

Solid waste, with a higher level of radioactivity, is normally disposed of far outside territorial waters. If necessary it can be dealt with in the same way and under the same precautions as other radioactive waste originating in the United Kingdom.

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