HC Deb 15 December 1976 vol 922 cc716-7W
Mr. Tom King

asked the Secretary of State for Energy to make a statement on any report of the Nuclear Installation Inspectorate on the leak of radioactive waste at Windscale.

Mr. Benn,

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 13th December 1976; Vol. 922, c. 967], gave the following information:

I wish to inform the House that the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate informed me yesterday that over the last year routine monitoring at Windscale has revealed detectable levels of tritium on the beach. Investigations by British Nuclear Fuels Limited, in consultation with the Department of Environment, and NII have not yet established the source of the tritium, but cannot rule out that it may have come from the silo which is the possible source of the recent seepage of radioactive water. I am advised that the tritium level on the beach is well below that permissible in drinking water and constitutes no hazard to employees or the general public. I will report to the House again when its source is established.

Meanwhile, I have asked BNFL to ensure that the unions on the site, the local authority and members of the local liaison committee are informed.

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