HC Deb 23 May 1995 vol 260 cc501-2W
Mr. Llew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the total number of departmental staff and members of the armed services available for mobilisation in the event of a nuclear accident emergency as described at pages 39–40 of the Statement on the Defence Estimates, 1995, Cm. 2800; and what level of training is given to departmental staff on nuclear emergency response. [25263]

Mr. Soames

In addition to a small full-time staff in MOD headquarters, the Nuclear Accident Response Organisation could draw on the skills of many hundreds of personnel across the armed forces and the MOD. Their precise number and specialisation would be dependent on the particular circumstances of an accident but it might include medical experts, health physicists, technical/design specialists, radiation monitoring experts, engineering teams and associated logistic and other support staff. In addition to the training given to ensure day-to-day expertise in these functions, appropriate training is also provided to ensure familiarisation with specific procedures relevant to a nuclear accident; the exercises described in the Statement on the Defence Estimates are an essential element in ensuring an effective response organisation.