HC Deb 10 July 1990 vol 176 cc153-4W
Mr. Gould

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement concerning the recent release of CFC-113 into the atmosphere at the JET project at Culham.

Mr. Andrew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what steps he is taking to ensure further accidents do not take place at Culham;

(2) if he will order a comprehensive check on safety procedures at Culham, following the emission of 2 tonnes of Freon-113 at the JET project;

(3) why a public announcement on the emission of Freon-113 at Culham was not made immediately.

Mr. Baldry

I understand that the JET joint undertaking of Euratom recently switched from water to Freon 113 for cooling the magnetic field coils in their fusion experiment because it is non-toxic, non-flammable and does not produce short-circuits on electrical equipment. In commissioning the new system on 4 June a pipe came loose and 1m3 of the liquid was released in the torus hall, some of which was recovered. The incident was reported to HM principal inspector of factories at Oxford as required by the regulations for the reporting of occupational occurrences. JET aim to work to the highest standards and are taking precautions to avoid any recurrence.

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