§ Mr. Frank Cook
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps have been taken to apply the best available technology to minimise and eliminate any pollution caused by radioactive discharges from nuclear industries, including reprocessing plants, into the marine environment.
§ Mr. Heathcoat-Amory
[holding answer 20 December 1989]: Radioactive waste may be discharged from nuclear installations only if an authorisation has been issued under the Radioactive Substances Act 1960 jointly by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Such authorisations are issued only after careful assessment of the environmental impact of the proposed disposals to ensure that doses to the public are below the maximum permissible limits as recommended by the International Committee on Radiological Protection. All authorisations impose a requirement on operators to minimise discharges and to carry out a programme of monitoring including the marine environment where appropriate. All such premises are subject to scrutiny by inspectors to ensure compliance with the terms of the authorisations.