HC Deb 02 November 1998 vol 318 cc353-4W
Mr. Hancock

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many radiation alerts there have been on Royal Navy submarines in each of the last 10 years. [57163]

Mr. Spellar

The term "radiation alert" is not a definition used in submarine operations. The lowestcategory of nuclear accident is defined "as an event which is likely to lead to, or has resulted in, the release of fission products from the fuel".

There has never been an accident of this nature, or by implication an accident in a higher category. In the event of an incident on board a nuclear powered submarine that causes serious concern for the safety of the reactor plant, or which is considered could result in a radiation hazard, the MOD Nuclear Accident Response Organisation would be alerted and activated. Whilst we exercise the procedures in place to deal with such an event, there has been no occasion when these have been required for a genuine incident.

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