§ Dr. Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what data his Department has on radioactive contamination of the River Esk near Ravenglass, Cumbria, including by isotopes of americium and caesium; how and by whom the monitoring is carried out; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Ridley
Data on levels of environmental radioactivity, including caesium and americium in the river Esk, Ravenglass estuary is provided by British Nuclear Fuels plc (BNFL) to my Department as a statutory requirement of their certificate of authorisation to discharge radioactive wastes. The most recent data supplied by BNFL is summarised on page 26 (table 7) of their annual report entitled "Radioactive Discharges and Monitoring of the Environment 1987". The most recent data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Foods's extensive environmental monitoring programmes is summarised on page 26 (table 10) of their aquatic environment monitoring report No. 19 for 1987. Both reports are published and copies have been placed in the Library of the House.
As part of the national environmental monitoring programme sponsored by my Department, mud from the Ravenglass estuary including the river Esk has been sampled for radiological analysis. This programme was started in 1988 and the results have not yet been published. When they are, a copy of the report will be placed in the Library of the House.