HC Deb 21 July 1982 vol 28 cc202-3W
Mr. Stephen Ross

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what facilities are planned to be established at Aldermaston in connection with the pumping of treated plutonium liquid waste; what amounts are to be pumped into the river Thames; and what planning procedures apply to the construction of such facilities.

Mr. Giles Shaw

There is already a pipeline for the discharge of liquid effluent from Aldermaston to the Thames. These discharges do not constitute a danger to the public. They are the subject of consultation with, and monitoring by, the Radiochemical Inspectorate of my Department and information about them, has been given in the annual survey of radioactive discharges in Great Britain.

The new treatment plant will replace the existing plant with a more modern and efficient one, which will reduce the volume of discharges by about 50 per cent, without increasing the very small quantity of plutonium that they contain.

The planning procedures applicable to Crown premises such as Aldermaston are set out in Department of the Environment circular 7/77. The local district council, as planning authority, will be notified about the proposed plant by the Ministry of Defence at the appropriate time.