§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if the special study which he commissioned on the consequences of a terrorist attack on an irradiated nuclear fuel flask has been completed; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. John Moore
In May 1980 my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Thames (Mr. Lamont), commissioned a special study on the vulnerability to sabotage of a flask containing irradiated fuel while in transit and on the possible consequences to the local population. This study has now been completed. It is a comprehensive assessment covering both the security aspects and the safety aspects of an attack on a fuel flask in transit.
While it would be imprudent for security reasons to publish the study, I can inform the House that the results have confirmed the initial assessment that my hon. Friend gave in answer to a question from the hon. Member for Newham, North-West (Mr. Lewis) on 15 November 1979.—[Vol. 993, c. 723–24.] They show that even under a most adverse combination of circumstances these flasks would not give rise to any significant hazard to the local population. I am satisfied that the existing arrangements, which I shall continue to keep under review, are adequate to protect public safety against any consequences of such an attack and that there are no grounds for altering them.