§ Mr. Alton
asked the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what research has been undertaken involving the carriage of Magnox spent fuel by advanced gas-cooled reactor flasks with regard to crash tests and International Atomic Energy Agency drop tests;
(2) when the safety of transport of irradiated Magnox fuel by MK2a and MK2b flasks was last reviewed, and what conclusions were reached;
(3) on what grounds the use of MK2c flasks in the transport of irradiated fuels has been authorised as replacements for MK2a and MK2b flasks.
§ Mr. David Mitchell
We are satisfied, from tests carried out under the requirements of IAEA regulations. that those AGR flasks which are in some cases used to transport Magnox fuel can do so safely.
The MK2a Magnox fuel flask is no longer in service. Details of its withdrawal were given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State in a written answer to the hon. Member for Leyton (Mr. Cohen) (8 November 1983, c. 105). The safety of MK2b and MK2c flasks was last reviewed in 1984 and their continued use was authorised by the Department.
The testing and assessment methods for all such flasks which are used by the CEGB meet the internationally agreed IAEA requirements. Their effectiveness was demonstrated by a 4-year programme of research, culminating in the train crash arranged in July 1984 in conjunction with British Rail.