§ Ms. Ruddock
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has made an assessment of the implication of a cargo jumbo jet carrying plutonium packages(a) crashing on take-off or landing, or (b) blowing-up in mid-air, in terms of environmental contamination.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
The transport of plutonium by air has been studied by the Advisory Committee on the Safe Transport of Radioactive Materials (ACTRAM). Its conclusions are published in a report entitled "The Transport of Civil Plutonium by Air". A copy has been placed in the Library.
The report concluded that the risks of a breach of the packaging during a severe accident were negligible.
A copy of the report has been passed to the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is currently studying the transport of radioactive materials by air.