§ Lord HYLTON
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether it is true that human radiation exposure limits in the USA are now 20 times more stringent than those currently accepted in Britain and, if so, what action they will take to improve our protection.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY UNDERSECRETARY of STATE, DEPARTMENT of the ENVIRONMENT (Baroness Birk)
No. The numerical standards recently publicised by the US Environmental Protection Agency represent a dose limit to members of the public which can be achieved in respect of the discharges from light water reactors 361WA under specific circumstances. They conform with a basic principle underlying the recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection that all doses should be kept as far below the ICRP's recommended safety limits as is reasonably achievable in each case. The United Kingdom Government's policy is likewise to ensure irrespective of costs that no member of the public shall receive more than the close limits recommended by the ICRP and that everything should be done that is reasonably practicable having regard to the cost convenience, and the national importance of the source of the discharge, to reduce doses far below these levels. While we have no specified numerical standards, the application of our policy to reactors produces approximately the same results as in the USA.