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Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the expenditure was in each year since 1997 on research into Gulf War veterans' illnesses, excluding sums spent on research by his Department into depleted uranium munitions; and what percentage of the annual departmental budget this represented in each case. 
|Defence budget (£ billion)
|Percentage of Defence budget
(9) To the nearest £1,000
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures have been taken to ensure that servicemen preparing to be deployed in the Gulf do not suffer medical complications which armed forces personnel experienced after the Gulf War. 
Dr. Moonie: The health and well-being of the personnel we deploy is of the greatest importance to us. Standard vaccinations to Service personnel are administered routinely. Service personnel who are offered the anthrax vaccine are provided with information to help them make an informed decision about immunisation. Personnel also receive pre-deployment and in-theatre health briefings which include information on prevalent diseases, hazards arising from potential environmental exposures, personal hygiene, stress, and acclimatisation to living in arduous environments.
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Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the potential harm to marine mammals caused by Low Frequency Active Sonar (LFAS); when LFAS systems are scheduled to be fitted to Royal Navy vessels; what classes of warships are to be fitted with LFAS systems; and what discussions his Department has had with representatives of other NATO navies about the effect of Low Frequency Active Sonar on marine mammals. 
Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence has conducted an Environmental Impact Assessment of Sonar 2087, a Low Frequency Active Sonar (LFAS) system. It is planned to be fitted in Type 23 Frigates between 2004 and 2013. The assessment indicated that the sonar has the potential to be harmful to marine mammals and developed a range of mitigation measures to minimise the impact. The assessment was subject to review by independent academic and scientific bodies. There are at present no plans to fit LFAS in any other Royal Naval vessels.
Mr. Ingram: The Low Frequency Active Sonar (LFAS) being developed for the Royal Navy will have the ability to detect, classify, localise and track hostile submarines whilst they remain outside the firing range of their own weapons systems. LFAS is planned to provide a force level, anti-submarine warfare capability in support of maritime operations.
Dr. Moonie: Service personnel deploying to the Gulf region are given pre-deployment and in-theatre briefings on health and hygiene matters based on current health risk assessments. Briefings would include information on prevalent diseases, hazards arising from potential environmental exposures, personal hygiene, stress, and acclimatisation to living in arduous environments.
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Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what funding his Department is providing for the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas; when this will be provided; what other support the MOD is providing for the National Memorial; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence provides no funding or any other support for the National Memorial Arboretum. This arboretum is a private initiative which is administered by the National Memorial Arboretum Company Ltd. that has its own Board of Trustee Directors.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is with regard to nuclear retaliation by the UK or its allies in the event of the use of chemical or biological weapons in an attack by Iraq on (a) UK territory, (b) the territories of other states with which the UK has mutual defence commitments and (c) British and other forces engaged in military action against Iraq. 
The Government have made clear on many occasions that the use of United Kingdom nuclear weapons would only be contemplated in extreme circumstances of self defence. We made clear in the Strategic Defence Review New Chapter that aggression against us will not secure political or military advantage, but invite a proportionately serious response. Those, at every level, responsible for any breach of international law relating to the use of weapons of mass destruction will be held personally accountable.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many nuclear-powered submarines, excluding SSBNs, he plans to keep in the submarine fleet in addition to the Astute class, once it is completed. 
Dr. Moonie: Stringent regulations govern nuclear health and safety at the Devonport and Rosyth dockyards where decommissioned nuclear submarines have been stored safely for some twenty years. The conditions of their storage are subject to rigorous safety standards set by the Navy's own assessor, the Chairman Naval Nuclear Regulatory Panel (CNNRP).
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As soon as possible after a nuclear submarine leaves operational service the reactor is defuelled, any other significant mobile radiation sources are removed and the vessel prepared for safe storage afloat. Daily inspections are carried out and regular maintenance periods ensure the vessel is maintained to a high standard of preservation and safety. Local authorities also carry out independent monitoring and evidence to date shows that external radiation levels are within permissible limits and pose no health risk to the public.
Dr. Moonie: None of the 11 nuclear-powered submarines that have been paid-off have been dismantled, and there are no plans to do this ahead of the work of the ISOLUS project to find a suitable way of storing radioactive material from decommissioned submarines on land.
Currently, as soon as possible after the submarine leaves naval service, the reactor is defuelled, any other significant mobile radiation sources are removed and the vessel prepared for safe storage afloat.