HC Deb 14 June 1979 vol 968 cc318-9W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Minister of Transport (1) whether he has received the further letter from the hon. Member for Newham, North-West originally addressed to the Secretary of State for the Environment enclosing a letter from Councillor Ernest Stanton showing the deep concern felt by the local residents at the conveyance of nuclear waste by insecure transport through the central area of Stratford, East London; what discussions ensued with the local borough council, fire and police authorities before this dangerous waste commenced its journeys; and whether he will take action to stop this movement until all local public and safety interests have been consulted;

(2) in the light of the danger to the whole of the London train travelling and residential public of the insecure conveyance of nuclear waste through the main highly congested areas in London, whether he will take action to stop such movements until a full investigation is held into all aspects of this matter.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

I have received the correspondence to which the hon. Member refers and will be sending him a full reply shortly. Irradiated nuclear fuel in this country must be transported in flasks which comply with international standards enabling them to withstand the effects of an extremely severe accident. All flasks in the case referred to by the hon. Member have been certified by this Department as complying with these standards which are very high indeed and suitable for safe transport by rail. There are detailed national emergency procedures in case of accidents involving the transport of radio-active materials, and local police and fire brigade authorities are aware of these procedures. We are satisfied that all proper precautions have been taken in this case, and see no reason to intervene.