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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

House of Commons Written Answers 20 March 2014

Afghanistan

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to paragraph 39 of the final report of UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism dated 28 February 2014, if he will publish the investigations report on civilian casualties through use of remotely piloted aircraft by the UK in Afghanistan. [191671]

Mr Francois: Any incident involving civilian casualties is a matter of deep regret and we take every possible measure to avoid such incidents. The report of UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, dated 28 February 2014, details the only known incident in over 57,000 hours of UK Reaper operations that resulted in the deaths of civilians. This incident took place on 25 March 2011 and resulted in the death of four civilians in addition to two insurgents. An International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) investigation was carried out and concluded that the actions of the Reaper crew had been in accordance with extant procedures and ISAF rules of engagement. As this was an ISAF investigation, any final decision on the reports disclosure sits within the ISAF chain of command.

Defence: Procurement

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of 2014DIN01-023, Engagement with suppliers, contractors and former bidders following termination of the Material Strategy GO-CO procurement. [192013]

Mr Dunne: A copy of the Defence Instruction Notice has been placed in the Library of the House.

Unmanned Air Vehicles

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of potential effects of the five additional Reaper remotely-piloted aircraft systems procured under an urgent operational requirement on the final part of the armed forces redundancy programme. [191662]

Mr Francois: There will be no redundancies in the final phase of the programme associated with the introduction into service of Reaper Remotely Piloted Air System.

House of Commons Written Answers 18 March 2014

Dounreay

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) for what reasons representatives of his Department did not mention the incident at the Vulcan Naval Reactor Test Establishment in January 2012 in any of their oral or written reports to the Dounreay Stakeholder Group in 2012 and 2013; [191599]
(2) whether he instructed his officials not to make public the problem with the reactor cooling system at Dounreay Naval Reactor Test Establishment at the Dounreay Stakeholder Group meetings of 19 January, 25 April, 18 July and 7 November 2012; [191603]
(3) for what reasons the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator did not mention the incident at the Vulcan Naval Reactor Test Establishment in January 2012 in (a) his quarterly reports to the Dounreay Stakeholder Group and (b) his 2012 annual report. [191607]

Mr Dunne: The issue with the reactor at the Naval Reactor Test Establishment at Dounreay has been classed as a Level 0 event on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) meaning that it is ‘below scale’ and has no safety significance.
Level 0 events are not routinely made public and are not routinely reported. That has been the practice of successive Governments, and it is the practice throughout the civil and military nuclear sectors.
Routine discharges from NRTE have remained well within the limits approved by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Discharge information is published annually as part of the ‘Radioactivity in Food and the Environment’ publication.
If there had been any safety risk the Dounreay Stakeholder Group would have been informed.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when his Department first became aware of the increase in discharges of noble gases from the Vulcan Naval Reactor Test Establishment as a result of t

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