§ Mr. Simon Hughes
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what are the terms of reference for Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution's inquiry into the recent radioactive leak at BNFL's Sellafield plant; (2) if he will publish, in respect of the recent radioactive leak at Sellafield(a) when the incident began, (b) when the plant workers were informed, (c) when the emergency services were notified, (d) when Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution and the nuclear installations inspectorate were informed, (e) when his Department was notified, (f) when the accident was announced to the public and (g) how and when the leak stopped; (3) what assessment he has made of BNFL's report that no danger to the public arose during the recent radioactive leak at the Sellafield plant; (4) what measures he intends to take following the recent discharge to ensure that British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. will not exceed its future radioactive waste discharge authorisations.
§ Mr. Flynn
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) when he was informed by BNFL of the radioactive leak that occurred at Sellafield on 13 February; how many mega becquerels were released; and what substances were involved; (2) if he will make a statement on the leak of radiation from the Magnox reprocessing plant at Sellafield that occurred on 13 February.
§ Mr. Llew Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when his Department was informed of the leak of radioactive iodine-129 from the B6 chimney at Sellafield on 13 February; and what estimate he has of the risks posed thereby to(a) the British Nuclear Fuels work force and (b) the local population.
§ Mr. David Maclean
[holding answer 2 March 1993]: BNFL informed HMIP of increased discharges of alpha activity from the B204 stack at 16.00 hours on 12 February and of increased discharges of iodine 129 from the B6 cell vent line at 16.00 hours on 24 February.
Investigations into both these incidents at the Sellafield site are currently being undertaken jointly by the nuclear installations inspectorate, Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries arid Food to establish the cause and whether a breach of any operating license or discharge authorisation has occurred.
Between 10 and 12 February releases of alpha activity from B204 were calculated to be approximately 350 megabecquerels (MBq). These discharges have now fallen to 5 MBq per day. The current annual discharge limit for alpha activity from the schedule 1 stacks (including B204) is 4,300 MBq.
In the week ending 13 February 1993 BNFL discharged 3,000 MBq of Iodine 129 via the B6 stack. Discharges for the following week had fallen to 2,500 MBq and by week ending 27 February to 1,000 MBq. The current annual discharge limit for Iodine 129 from the schedule 2 stacks (including the B6 stack) is 41,000 MBq.537W
Assessments of the radiological impact of these incidents will be reported to the House by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. HMIP expects to submit its report into the B204 incident by the end of March.