HC Deb 25 June 2002 vol 387 cc791-2W
Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what measures are in place to protect radioactive materials already in the United Kingdom that could be used to build a dirty bomb. [62709]

Mr. Wilson

[holding answer 19 June 2002]: Nuclear materials on licensed civil nuclear sites and in transport are subject to rigorous regulatory requirements set, and monitored by, the Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS). Nuclear power generators comply with the Nuclear Generating Station (Security) Regulations 1996, made under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Other sites comply with Directions made under the Atomic Energy Act 1954 and the Nuclear Installations Act 1965. All civil nuclear material in the UK is subject to Euratom safeguards and to the terms of the UK/Euratom/IAEA Safeguards Agreement. Radioactive material, in accordance with the Radioactive Substances Act 1993, requires a certificate of registration from the Environment Agency or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. The certificates impose responsibilities in respect of security and general management. In addition, the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 require employers to have in place appropriate accounting procedures. The regulatory bodies carry out regular programmes of inspections to ensure compliance and would not hesitate to take enforcement action were there a failure to comply with regulatory requirements.