HC Deb 28 November 1983 vol 49 cc384-5W
Mr. Foulkes

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give the data for all available years for individual radiation exposures due to consumption of Irish sea fish and shellfish, as published for 1981 in table 7 of the directorate of fisheries research report, with the percentage increases for each category for each year and the cumulative dose equivalents or estimated cumulative dose equivalents for a 25-year period.

Mr. MacGregor

The maximum radiation exposure to members of the critical group of fish and shellfish consumers near Sellafield as reported in the fisheries radiobiological laboratory reports on radioactivity in surface and coastal waters from 1972 to 1981 is set out as follows together with the cumulative dose equivalent on the basis of the data in the reports. Before 1972 these exposures were low, reflecting the low rate of radiocaesium discharges. The membership of the critical groups is likely to change but the table gives the maximum cumulative dose equivalent assuming that membership has not changed. Those members of the public who have been in the critical group for only part of the period will have received a lower cumulative dose equivalent.

Year Maximum exposure of critical group (as per cent. oflCRPdose limit of5MSV/year) Per cent, change on previous year Cumulative dose equivalent (MSV)
1972–73 3 0.3
1974 14 +367 1.0
1975 34 +143 2.7
1976 44 +29 4.9
1977 31 -30 6.6
1978 26 -16 7.9
1979 21 -19 8.9
1980 39 +86 10.9
1981 69 +77 14.3

The increased maximum exposure reported for 1980 and 1981* is due to changes in knowledge of shellfish consumption levels by the critical group and in scientific information on the uptake of plutonium by human gut. It is not due to any increases in discharges. A range of figures were presented in the 1980 and 1981 reports based on different assumptions and the highest of these figures have been used in compiling the table. * which is within the ICRP recommended maximum annual limit for members of the public, of 5 millisievert (MSV) per year.