HC Deb 21 March 1991 vol 188 cc203-4W
Mr. McFall

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he will list all incidents and occurrences, including radioactive dose exposure to employees, involving the release or potential release of radioactive matter from high-level waste slurry/sludge storage tanks that have been reported to his Department or lodged with the nuclear installations Inspectorate under the established reporting procedures, in each of the last five years;

(2) if he will list the size, number and types of storage tanks at each location in the United Kingdom at which high-level radioactive waste is stored; whether the waste is acid or alkali; what is the rate of hydrogen evolution from such tanks; and what is the method of purging this;

(3) if he will name each establishment in the United Kingdom where liquid and/or slurry/sludge high-level radioactive waste is processed, treated and stored; and what is the volume and total radioactive inventory and radionuclide composition of the high-level wastes stored at each such location.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory

High-level liquid waste is produced in the United Kingdom at Sellafield and Dounreay, and is stored on site. Details of quantities and activity may be found in the United Kingdom inventory of radioactive waste, copies of which are in the Library of the House.

The high-level waste is acidic. Hydrogen evolution does occur, but levels are extremely low and the tanks are continuously ventilated.

There have been no reportable incidents or occurrences involving high-level liquid waste storage tanks in the past five years.