§ Mr. Kilroy-Silk
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, further to his reply to the hon. Member for Wolver Hampton, North-East (Mrs. Short) Official Report, 3 December 1979, column 81, he will explain why British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. is designing new plant to reduce substantially the discharges to sea of the more radiologically significant isotopes such as cassium and strontium, given that he claims such discharges to be environmentally of low significance.
§ Mr. Fox
My reply to the hon. Member for Wolver Hampton, North-East (Mrs. Short) stated that the discharges to sea from Wind scale of plutonium 241 are environmentally of low significance. BNFL's new plant is designed to reduce the discharges to sea of the more radiologically significant isotopes such as caesium and strontium. Discharges of these isotopes are within the limits authorised jointly by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment and my right hon. Friend the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food under the Radioactive Substances Act 1960, and do not constitute a hazard to public health. The authorising Departments, however, follow the recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection in requiring that disposal practices should be optimised to ensure that radiation exposure resulting from discharges is kept as low as is reasonably achievable. The liquid discharge authorisation for Wind-scale will therefore be revised when the new plant comes into operation.
§ Mr. Gordon Wilson
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he intends to allow the extension of the area at Drigg in Cumbria for the disposal of more low-level nuclear waste or to use that site for the burial of medium-level waste and plutonium.