HC Deb 22 May 1979 vol 967 cc110-1W
Mr. McQuarrie

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he is satisfied that the report received from the committee which investigated the dangers at the NATO base and the adjoining gas terminals is such that no danger exists to the population living in that area of East Aberdeenshire.

Mr. Mayhew

My right hon. Friend is satisfied with the conclusions which were reached by the steering committee on radio frequency hazards at St. Fergus, Scotland, and which were published by the Health and Safety Executive in the report of the steering committee on 28 February 1979.

The report describes research and an extensive series of tests carried out at three gas processing plants at St. Fergus to discover if dangerous sparks could be caused at the plants by high-frequency radio signals from a nearby naval wireless transmitter station.

The steering committee report concludes that there would be an ample margin of safety at the existing Total and British Gas Corporation gas plants at St. Fergus, with the radio station at Crimond operating at full capacity. The position is similar at the Shell plant at its present stage of construction, but the report recommends that further site tests should be made on the Shell plant as structures are completed; if necessary, safeguards will be introduced by Shell.

The steering committee was chaired by an officer of the Health and Safety Executive and included two independent experts as well as representatives from the Ministry of Defence and operators of the three processing plants.