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Radioactive Materials: Transport

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 25334, tabled on 2 February 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what advice his Department sought from where on the decision as to whether to cease displaying radioactive material hazard signs on vehicles carrying special nuclear materials.

Answered on

9 February 2016

The Defence Equipment and Support organisation decided to cease displaying radioactive material hazard warning signs on vehicles carrying special nuclear materials in July 2011. Before implementing this decision we sought legal advice and notified the regulator. The change was implemented in 2012 in anticipation of the transition to a single type of vehicle for the transport of both nuclear weapons and special nuclear materials and was needed in order to maintain the policy to neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons. No changes were required to operating arrangements as a result of this decision. The Ministry of Defence's arrangements for the safe transport of defence nuclear materials include the provision of information to the emergency services in the event of an incident; this does not rely on displaying radioactive material hazard warning signs.