HC Deb 21 January 2002 vol 378 cc612-3W
Mr. Carmichael

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measurements are made of the radiation above background level around intermediate and high level nuclear waste storage facilities at Sellafield and Dounreay. [25895]

Mr. Meacher

[holding answer 15 January 2002]Measurements of all major types of radiation in the environment around the Sellafield site are undertaken routinely by BNFL, the Environment Agency and the Foods Standards Agency1. The data are published annually in respective environmental monitoring reports. The measurements cover the marine and terrestrial environments and reflect both present and past operations on site. It is not possible to identify separately monitoring data relating specifically to waste storage facilities from those relating to other operations on site. Assessed doses to those most likely to be exposed to radiation (the critical group) are based on these measurements. These estimated doses reflect total risk from the site, and are within national and international dose limits for members of the public.

Radiation measurements taken within the Sellafield and Dounreay sites, around the waste storage facilities (and other facilities), are carried out by BNFL and UKAES respectively. The results of these measurements are available to Inspectors of the Health and Safety Executive. Both of these operators have a duty to ensure that the radiation doses arising from, among other things, their waste storage facilities are below statutory limits and are kept as low as reasonably practicable.

Responsibility for environmental protection policy in Scotland (Dounreay) is a matter for the Scottish Executive and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. 1 Environmental reports referred to in the response:

  1. 1. Discharges and monitoring of the environment in the UK: annual report for 2000, BNFL
  2. 2. Radioactivity in the Environment, Report for 2000: Environment Agency
  3. 3. Radioactivity in Food and the Environment, 2000: Food Standards Agency ad Scottish Environment Protection Agency