§ Mrs. Ewing
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with Babcock concerning the proposed removal of the nuclear submarines from the quayside berths at Rosyth to dry land storage; what assessment he has made of(a) the safety issues and (b) the requirement for additional facilities for the dry storage of reactor components at Rosyth; what estimate he has made of the amount of radiation leakage from the existing nuclear hulks at Rosyth; and if he will make a statement. 666W
§ Mr. Spellar
I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence on 4 March 1998,Official Report, column 626. The MOD is currently in discussion with a number of companies, including Babcock Rosyth Defence Ltd., as part of the investigation into options for the storage of decommissioned submarines. The results of the investigation, which are expected to be available by mid-1999, will address all relevant issues, including safety and any requirement for additional facilities for the dry storage of reactor compartments. The decommissioned submarines at Rosyth are regularly and independently monitored. Evidence to date shows that external radiation levels are well within permissible limits.