HC Deb 20 November 2000 vol 357 cc23-4W
Mr. McNamara

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what forecast he has made of the level of radioactive discharge into the Irish Sea in each year to 2020, indicating the measures he will take to ensure fulfilment of the OSPAR Agreement. [138743]

Mr. Meacher

The consultation document on a UK Strategy for Radioactive Discharges 2001–20, which was published in June, shows how we shall implement the agreements on radioactive discharges reached at the 1998 Ministerial meeting of the OSPAR Commission. It includes projected discharge profiles by sector for the nuclear industry, for the period to 2020. Responses to the consultation are now being considered, with a view to issuing the final strategy in the spring. The final strategy will show separate projections for radioactive discharges into the relevant OSPAR sea areas, one of which is the Celtic Seas, which includes the Irish Sea. Statutory guidance to the Environment Agency, which is about to be issued in draft for consultation, will ensure that future discharge authorisations are consistent with the discharges strategy. The strategy will also contain environmental concentration data for a key set of indicators designed to monitor progress in implementing our OSPAR commitments and will be updated every four years. Comprehensive data on the amounts of radionuclides discharged from UK installations and their concentrations in the marine environment are published annually in "Radioactivity in Food and the Environment", a joint report by the Food Standards Agency and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

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