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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 37

(Question No. 1082)

Senator Vigor asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 27 May 1986:

What procedures are in force to protect Australia from radiation leaks caused by accidents to nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed ships, particularly in view of the fact that nuclear-powered ships with their small reactors use highly enriched fuel.

Senator Gareth Evans —The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

I refer the honourable Senator to part (3) of my answer to Senate Question 795 published in Hansard on 19 August 1986. I would add that arrangements for NPWs are based on estimates of the effect of an accidental release of radioactivity from the vessel's reactors. The amount of fission products which may be released is a function of the power output of the reactor, and is not dependent on the degree of enrichment of the fuel used to produce this output.