HL Deb 15 February 1979 vol 398 c1512WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether unauthorised transport of radioactive substances is a criminal offence:—

  1. (a) within the United Kingdom;
  2. (b) within waters in which the United Kingdom has exclusive rights; and
  3. (c) on the high seas.
and if so, who is charged with apprehending suspected offenders.

Baroness STEDMAN

The transport of radioactive substances within the United Kingdom is subject to special regulations and conditions, varying according to the mode of transport. Failure to comply with these requirements constitutes a criminal offence. Responsibility for enforcement rests, in regard to road transport, with the Department of Transport, who seek the co-operation of the police as necessary; and in regard to consignments by rail, with the British Railways Board.

The carriage of radioactive substances in ships is subject to the provisions of the Merchant Shipping (Dangerous Goods) Rules 1978 which apply to British ships registered in the United Kingdom, and to other ships, while they are loading cargo and in certain other circumstances, at any port within the United Kingdom or within its territorial waters. It is a criminal offence for radioactive substances to be taken on board, or to be carried on any ship to which the rules apply, in contravention of the provisions of the rules. The Department of Trade is responsible for the enforcement of the rules.