§ Mr. Judd
asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will make a statement on the safety precautions to be taken when nuclear-powered vessels are in Portsmouth Dockyard and on the arrangements which have been made for emergency action should an accident involving radioactive leakage occur to any such vessel.
§ Mr. John Morris:
The Royal Navy's nuclear-powered submarines contain the fullest safety measures and are operated under the most stringent operating procedures, such that the likelihood of any accident is exceedingly remote. Detailed safety schemes for the contingency of an accident have nevertheless been drawn up in conjunction with the local authorities and with representatives of the other Ministries involved, for all ports which such submarines may use, including Portsmouth Dockyard. In addition, the berths approved for use have been selected so as to minimise the effect on the public of any accidental release of radioactivity. These precautions are closely similar to those taken in the vicinity of land-based reactors. Careful arrangements are also made for training and exercising personnel in accident procedures. An interdepartmental committee advises the Secretary of State for Defence on the appropriate precautions.112W