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Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how much radioactive nuclear waste was (a) pumped and (b) dumped into the Irish Sea in (i) 1970 to 1979, (ii) 1980 to 1989, (iii) 1990 to 1999 and (iv) 2000 to date. 
The UK ceased all sea dumping of radioactive waste from 1982. The issue of dumping of radioactive waste in Beaufort's Dyke and other parts of the Irish Sea prior to that date was addressed by the then Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, my right hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Rooker), in his answers of 1 July 1997, Official Report, columns 158-60W, 30 July 1997, Official Report, columns 322-24W, and 24 November 1997, Official Report, columns 409-10W.
Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if the Government will make use of the provision in Article 5 of the EU directive on the landfill of waste of April 1999 allowing the postponement of the attainment of the targets set out in that Article for the diversion of waste from landfill. 
Mr. Meacher: The Government announced in Waste Strategy 2000, published in May 2000, that they proposed to make use of the full four-year derogations allowed under Article 5 of the EU Directive on the landfill of waste.
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Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what reports he has assessed of radioactivity ratings of silt and mud produced by sand winning plant screening processes on the north-west coast of England. 
In addition, an ad hoc assessment programme was initiated at the end of 1998 to assess the radiation levels in the lagoons that receive the waste washings from the sand winning process at Southport. Samples of sediments were taken from the lagoons in 1998 and 1999 and analysed for radionuclides and the results were reported back to the Environment Agency. The reported levels for the two most significant radionuclides present in the sediment, caesium-137 and americium-241, were as follows:
Using pessimistic exposure assumptions, and taking account of direct external exposure, inadvertent ingestion, and inhalation of re-suspended particulate (i.e. dried sand and mud being blown by the wind), these mean values would lead to a maximum dose of respectively 12 per cent. and 0.2 per cent. of the 1 milliSievert per year dose limit for the general public.
The radioactivity levels in the sediment were not considered high enough to warrant a full radiological risk assessment, and detailed assessment of the effects of ingestion/inhalation over time has not been carried out. These results are consistent with the Agency's routine coastal monitoring programme. I understand that no further monitoring of the lagoons has been undertaken.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if the United Kingdom has made a submission to Euratom, pursuant to (a) Article 34 and (b) Article 35 of the Euratom Treaty since the United Kingdom joined the European Community. 
Mr. Meacher: Under Article 34 of the Euratom Treaty, any member state in whose territories particularly dangerous experiments are to take place is required to take additional health and safety measures, and in advance to obtain the opinion on the European Commission. The assent of the Commission is required where the effects of such experiments are liable to affect the territories of other member states. No such submissions have been made by the United Kingdom.
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Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) how much has been spent by his Department on removing litter and debris from the side of the A1 in each of the last four years; 
Mr. Prescott: Responsibility for removing litter and debris from the motorway network in England rests with the Highways Agency which employs a number of maintenance contractors to carry out the work. Because these contractors carry out this task together with other routine maintenance work, it is not possible to disaggregate the cost of litter collection from the total cost of maintenance.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what commitments he has made to the on-going financing of the first seven years of the London Underground public-private partnership. 
Mr. Hill: The financial requirements of London Underground under the public-private partnership will not finally be known until negotiations with preferred bidders have been completed. The PPP is about obtaining best value in the way that farebox revenue and any public subsidy is spent. The Government have made it clear that, as long as it proves value for money to do so, then Transport for London will receive the appropriate level of central government grant to allow for London Underground's need to make payments to the PPP contractors.
Ms Beverley Hughes [holding answer 1 May 2001]: Since 3 May 1997 this Department has generally employed three full-time and two part-time special advisers at any one time, except for a period of nine months in 1997 and 1998 when there were four full-time and two part-time special advisers. In 1997 under the
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previous Administration there were three full-time and two part-time special advisers in the Departments of the Environment and Transport.
Mr. Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on the progress of the EU's Urban II Programme; what delays have taken place to implementation of the EU's Urban II Programme; and what the reasons are for such delays. 
Ms Beverley Hughes [holding answer 2 May 2001]: We will shortly be submitting the English programmes for Bristol; Burnley; Halifax in Calderdale; Hetton and Murton; Normanton, Derby; Peterborough; Stockwell and Thames Gateway to the European Commission.
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he intends to answer the letter transferred to him by the Chancellor of the Exchequer dated 6 April from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. T. Perkins. 
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