§ Mr. Chris Smith
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, in the light of the three accidents at the Sellafield plant during the month of January, he plans any new initiatives to investigate the cumulative effect of Sellafield's discharges to the terrestrial environment; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Waldegrave
None of the events at Sellafield during January resulted in a discharge of radioactivity to the environment. An extensive research programme is already in progress to examine the behaviour of radionuclides discharged to the terrestrial environment from Sellafield. Reports on this work are published regularly.
§ Mr. Frank Cook
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has about the three accidents at the Sellafield nuclear plant during the month of January; what evidence his Department has on plutonium levels in the Cumbrian environment; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Waldegrave
I have been informed about two minor events at Sellafield during January 1987 and in the same month the results of an inquiry on the loss of part of a fuel pin were also announced. None of these events resulted in a discharge of radioactivity to the environment.
Levels of plutonium and other radionuclides in the vicinity of Sellafield are regularly monitored by BNFL and authorising Departments. The results of the aquatic monitoring programme undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in the vicinity of major United Kingdom nuclear installations are published annually in a series of reports entitled "Radioactivity in Surface and Coastal Waters of the British Isles". Data relating to atmospheric discharges in 1986 will be published in mid-1987. A copy of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority's Report "Studies of environmental radioactivity in Cumbria. Part 7: A summary of progress to December 1984" was published in April 1985. Copies of these reports have been placed in the Library of the House.