HL Deb 12 May 1983 vol 442 cc696-7WA
Lord Jenkins of Putney

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What was the date of origin of the Home Office attack scenario entitled S.A.B. Standard Unclassified Attack and whether this envisaged approximately 179 nuclear bombs with a total yield of about 193 megatons;

When the attack scenario S.A.B. Standard Unclassified Attack was declassified and when will it be published.

What attack scenario is now being used in order to assess likely casualties from a major nuclear exchange involving the United Kingdom; and

How their attack scenario S.A.B. Standard Unclassified Attack has been modified to take into account the deployment of SS.20 missiles by the Soviet Union.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Elton)

In 1972 the Home Office Scientific Advisory Branch drew up a nuclear attack pattern as an example for use in training and in the development of exercise. It was based on 179 bombs with a total yield of 193 megatons. It does not take into account changes in strategic assumptions nor the deployment by the Soviet Union of the non-strategic, more accurate SS.20 missile. It has not been used for some years and we have no plans to publish it. Current civil defence planning is based on a range of possible attacks from conventional bombing to a nuclear attack on civil and military targets.