§ Mr. Llew Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the damage done to the depleted uranium monitoring rig located offshore at the testing range at Dundrennan.
§ Dr. Moonie
The test rig housing the depleted uranium samples was damaged during winter storms. The most likely cause of this damage were the chains securing the buoys marking the rig which impacted repeatedly with the main body of the rig during unexpectedly high sea states. In all some 20.76kg of depleted uranium, the equivalent of four projectiles, were lost and, if not recovered, it is expected that the material will oxidise and disperse in exactly the same way as rounds fired into the Solway Firth from the Kirkcudbright range. The ongoing comprehensive environmental monitoring programme continues to confirm no uranium above naturally occurring background levels.