HC Deb 01 June 1998 vol 313 cc107-8W
Mr. Hancock

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list those authorised to use depleted uranium in the United Kingdom. [43053]

Mr. Spellar

Depleted uranium has wide ranging use in both the civil and defence sectors, including shielding of radioactive sources, counterbalances for aeroplanes and oil rigs, and also in tank and naval ammunition.

The use and handling of depleted uranium are governed by a number of different regulations, none of which requires specific "authorisation" as such. However, disposal, as opposed to use, of depleted uranium is authorised only for licensed nuclear sites. The basic control of depleted uranium is provided by the Radioactive Substances Act 1993 (amended 1995), which is administered by the Environment Agency. Other regulations which may be applicable are the Ionising Radiation Regulations and associated Code of Practice 1985 and 1993, and the Radioactive Material (Road Transport) (Great Britain) Regulations 1996. The MOD itself also issues a number of internal manuals, regulations and instructions relating to the control of radioactive material within the Armed Forces and the MOD.