Parliament was misled over Dounreay radiation leak


Scottish National Party Westminster Leader and Defence spokesperson Angus Robertson MP has asked Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg if he agrees the Ministry of Defence should be held accountable to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) following the revelation that Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has had to correct his statement that there was “no measurable change in radiation discharge” at Dounreay.

Angus Robertson MP raised the issue during Prime Minister’s Questions after it was revealed Philip Hammond had to make the “ministerial correction” some 7 days after he made his original misleading statement in the House of Commons.

It was revealed there had been a significant incident at the naval prototype reactor in Dounreay in 2012. The Ministry of Defence, who are responsible for the operations and safety at Dounreay, only informed SEPA of the situation after 9 months and requested that they did not make the information more widely known.

Commenting, Angus Robertson MP said:

“On the day the Defence Secretary has had to issue a hugely embarrassing correction to his misleading statement, the Deputy Prime Minister has failed to agree that the MoD should be held accountable to SEPA.

“It was clear Nick Clegg had no idea about the UK government’s massive blunder.

“This mistake is completely unacceptable. After sitting on this information for two years, you would think the Defence Secretary would be able to get it right.

“It took the MOD 9 months to inform SEPA, and for almost two years the UK Government failed to notify Scottish Ministers on such important issues.

“Westminster, with these vastly expensive weapons of mass destruction, are treating the people of Scotland with contempt. This makes it even more essential that we vote Yes in September. It is the only way we can be sure that we get rid of Trident for good.”