§ Dr. John Cunningham
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will call for a report from the chairman of British Nuclear Fuels Limited concerning the reported supply of defective container systems for the transportation of irradiated fuel elements to Windscale; whether he will publish the chairman's reply; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Norman Lamont
I am advised that the containers referred to in a recent newspaper article are not part of the safety system used in the movement of irradiated fuel. They are devices—commonly referred to as "bottles"—used for operational convenience in the handling of fuel from overseas at Wind-scale. Where they are used in the carriage of fuel outside that site, they are placed inside the massive steel flasks used for that purpose, which are constructed in accordance with stringent international safety standards and which provide the necessary safety packaging.
None the less, for operational purposes British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. requires the bottles to be constructed to strict standards and capable of meeting specified tests. The company keeps arrangements for the manufacture of the bottles under review. It terminated the contract of the company referred to in the newspaper report some time ago.