HC Deb 20 June 1979 vol 968 cc559-60W
58. Miss Joan Lestor

asked the Minister of Transport if he is satisfied with the safety precautions surrounding the transportation by rail of radioactive materials; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

Yes. All radioactive materials carried by rail are required to be packaged in accordance with very high standards prescribed in the internationally agreed International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) transport regulations. The type of packaging varies according to the contents and level of radioactivity involved, and safety is ensured by the packaging used.

In the case of irradiated fuel moving from CEGB power stations to Windscale the massive flasks which carry the fuel are transported under conditions designed to ensure that they would withstand without failure the effects of very severe accident conditions. This Department has responsibility for assessment and approval of the flask designs against the comprehensive performance standards prescribed in the IAEA regulations and for approving the shipment arrangements specific to the design. The appropriate approval certification from this Department is required in order for the flasks to be accepted for carriage by rail.

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