HC Deb 07 June 1976 vol 912 cc502-3W
Mr. Grimond

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether radioactive isotopes are used in testing the oil pipelines to Firth in Shetland; and, if so, how they are transported and what safety precautions are enforced.

Mr. Benn

Radioactive isotope sources are used by specialist contractors in testing offshore and onshore oil pipelines, including those to and on Shetland.

For use offshore I understand that where sources are put on board the pipe-laying barges in United Kingdom ports, they are registered, under Section 3 of the Radioactive Substances Act 1960, with the Scottish Development Department, which lays down appropriate requirements for the transport and storage of the sources on the barge. Where the sources are transported in another vessel from a United Kingdom port to the lay barge, they are transported in containers complying with requirements, and following procedures, laid down by my right hon. Friend under the Merchant Shipping (Dangerous Goods) Rules 1965.

Operations involving the use of radioactive substances within areas to which the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 apply are subject to the control of the Health and Safety Executive, under the Ionising Radiations (Sealed Sources) Regulations 1969 and the Ionising Radiations (Unsealed Radioactive Substances) Regulations 1968.

Movement within the United Kingdom is carried out in accordance with the appropriate rules for the mode of transport used, which are drawn up by the relevant Government Departments and the carriers in accordance with the recommendations of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the International Air Transport Association.