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24 July 2006 : Column 776W—continued


UK Regular Forces includes Nursing services and excludes Full Time Reserve Service personnel and mobilised reservists. It includes trained and untrained personnel.

Figures include re-enlistments and rejoined reservists.

Due to the rounding methods used, totals may not always equal the sum of the parts. When rounding to the nearest 10, numbers ending in five have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias.

Helicopters

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he will answer Questions (a) 71152 and (b) 71153, on helicopter fuel tank protection, tabled by the hon. Member for Portsmouth, South for answer on 12 May 2006. [85277]

Mr. Ingram: I replied to the hon. Member on 13 July 2006, Official Report, column 1940W.

Medical/Dental Officers

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the Armed Forces Pay Review Body report on service medical and dental officers to be published. [87170]

Des Browne: I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial I made today.

Military (Low Flying)

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his written statement of 18 July 2006, on the Pattern of Military Low Flying Across the UK 2005-06, when he expects the 2005-06 report to be (a) completed and (b) published. [87728]

Mr. Watson: The Pattern of Military Low Flying Across the United Kingdom 2005-06 is expected to be completed and printed in early August, and will be placed in the Library during the recess. I will write to the hon. Member when that has been done.

Military Vehicles

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence in which vehicles British service personnel have been (a) killed and (b) injured as a result of hostile action in (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. [81591]

Des Browne: 25 British servicemen have been killed as a result of hostile action while in military vehicles since the start of the conflict in Iraq. Twenty of these were travelling in armoured Land Rovers, two in unarmoured Land Rovers, two in Warrior armoured fighting vehicles and one was travelling in an unarmoured military ambulance. Ten servicemen were also killed by hostile action while flying in a military C-130 aircraft.

A further six personnel have been killed in Iraq during incidents where vehicles were present. Records do not allow us to confirm if they were in the vehicles at the time of injury. Centrally available records do not allow us to give a figure for the number of British servicemen injured from hostile action whilst in vehicles.

Two British servicemen have been killed in Afghanistan as a result of hostile action whilst in vehicles since operations began in 2001. Both were in unarmoured Land Rovers.

Between 1 January 2006 and 6 July 2006, three British servicemen have been injured as a result of hostile action whilst in vehicles in Afghanistan. A further three have been killed and five wounded during incidents where troops were involved in patrols equipped with armoured Land Rovers in Afghanistan. Centrally available records do not allow us to confirm if they were in the vehicles at the time of injury.

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the relative protection afforded from improvised explosive devices by the Tempest Truck, Mine Protected Vehicle and the Force Protection Inc. Cougar joint explosive ordnance disposal rapid response vehicles employed by the US Marine Corps in Iraq. [82530]

Mr. Ingram: The in service Mine Protected Vehicle, which was originally known as Tempest although that name is no longer used, is based on an early version of the Force Protection Inc. Cougar vehicle. There are many variants of the Cougar and different nations modify them to meet their own specifications and roles. We do not comment on the relative protection as to do so would prejudice safety of allies.

Ministerial Office

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many times his ministerial office has been decorated in each of the last five years. [87652]

Mr. Watson: In 2001 the Ministry of Defence head office moved from the main building to temporary offices allowing for the main building PFI redevelopment project to provide a new modern working environment appropriate to the future business need of the Department. Some redecoration of the temporary accommodation was undertaken to prepare it, including for Minister's offices. In 2004 the Ministry of Defence head office
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returned to the main building. There has been no redecoration of ministerial offices since this date.

Missiles

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects plans for ballistic missile defence for NATO allies to be approved. [86670]

Des Browne: The NATO Missile Defence Feasibility Study was noted by the North Atlantic Council in June 2006. NATO will continue to examine the options for, and implications of, the possible acquisition of territorial Ballistic Missile Defence, but it has made no plans for such acquisition nor set a timetable for a decision.

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what feasibility studies his Department has carried out on possible sites for ground based interceptors in relation to possible UK involvement in a missile defence shield. [86671]

Des Browne: None.

Mobile Phones (RAF Stations)

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what rules apply to the use of mobile telephones and camera telephones on RAF stations; and what the reasons are for such rules. [85308]

Mr. Watson: The use of mobile and camera telephones is governed by defence-wide security policy. A balance has to be drawn between the need to protect the Ministry of Defence information and assets and allowing the greatest possible freedom for the individual. Each RAF Station will have its own specific rules that apply to the use of mobile telephones and camera telephones. These requirements are published to staff and briefed to visitors on arrival.

This policy is intended to minimise the potential for compromise of protectively marked information and assets and is reviewed regularly to take account of changing threats and developments in technology.

Modernising Personnel Administration

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the written statement of 17 July 2006, Official Report, column 3WS, on modernising armed forces and veterans personnel administration, what budget has been set aside to carry out the proposed changes. [87093]

Mr. Watson: The bringing together of the Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency and the Veterans Agency will incur modest costs, primarily in senior management time and in any re-badging of the new agency. These costs will be met by existing budgets within the individual agencies and are not significant enough to require a separate budget to be set aside. Any subsequent proposals for investment to improve service quality would be assessed case by case.

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the written statement of 17 July
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2006, Official Report, column 3WS, on modernising armed forces and veterans personnel administration, if he will place in the Library a copy of the (a) study and (b) consultation document. [87094]

Mr. Watson: Yes. I will place the information requested in the Library.

Nell McAndrew

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his Answer of 12 July 2006, Official Report, column 1884W, on welfare services, whether Nell McAndrew will be remunerated for her work on the confidential support line campaign with the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association. [87172]

Mr. Watson: That is a matter between the Association and Nell McAndrew. We remain greatly appreciative of the support she gives to our armed forces.

Nuclear Liabilities

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish a disaggregation by function and location of the £9,753,827,000 undiscounted costs of nuclear liabilities, set out at page 220 of his Department's Annual Report and Accounts for 2005-06, HC1394, for which his Department is responsible; and if he will publish the advice provided to his Department by NIREX to which the Report makes reference. [86925]

Des Browne: A disaggregation by function and location of the £9,753,827,000 undiscounted costs of nuclear liabilities, stated in the Department's Annual Report and Accounts for 2005-06, is as follows:

£3,394,744,000—Costs associated with decommissioning, care and maintenance of redundant facilities (the conditioning, retrieval and storage of contaminated materials); research and development; and the procurement of capital facilities to handle the various waste streams.

Location: AWE Sites, Berkshire.

£2,132,782,000—Decontamination and decommissioning of Naval Test Reactor and waste disposal.

Location: Dounreay.

£1,052,580,000—Costs associated with the research, development and construction of the NIREX Deep Waste Repository.

Location: Not yet known.

£934,659,000—Storage of nuclear materials.

Locations: Springfields, Capenhurst and Sellafield.

£909,892,000—Nuclear Propulsion decontamination and decommissioning liabilities at various sites which conduct nuclear submarine decommissioning work on behalf of MOD.

Locations: Sellafield, Derby and mobile support equipment.

£504,144,000—Berthing and decommissioning of out of service submarines.


24 July 2006 : Column 779W

Locations: Rosyth and Devonport.

£332,835,000—Decommissioning of current in-service submarines.

Location: Rosyth and Devonport.

£177,259,000—Sundry provisions, the bulk of which is in respect of costs of storage of low level waste.

Location: Sellafield.

£146,401,000—Dismantlement of Warheads.

Location: AWE Sites, Berkshire.

£119,168,000—Decommissioning of nuclear submarine refit and refuelling facilities.

Location: Devonport Dockyard.

£32,299,000—Nuclear Decommissioning and Decontamination of Rosyth Dockyard on completion of the final Nuclear Submarine Project contract.

Location: Rosyth.

£10,627,000—Decommissioning and disposal of the Neptune Test Reactor.

Location: Derby.

£4,030,000—Disposal of Support Equipment which contains depleted uranium.

Location: Rosyth and Devonport.

£2,207,000—Decommissioning of a facility that processes radiological submarine effluent at HM Naval Base Clyde which is being superseded by a new Radiological Processing Facility.

Location: HM Naval Base Clyde.

£200,000—Decontamination related to low-level and small quantities of nuclear materials used in educational laboratories at the Defence Academy.

Location: Shrivenham.

The information provided by NIREX for the Department's Annual Report and Accounts is commercially sensitive. Its publication is a matter for NIREX.

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to paragraph 64 of his Department's Annual Report and Accounts for 2005-06, HC 1394, which international legal obligations would have to be met by the United Kingdom if it was decided to use its nuclear weapons. [86930]

Des Browne: The UK would consider using nuclear weapons only in extreme circumstances of self-defence and in accordance with our international legal obligations, including those relating to the conduct of armed conflict.

Nuclear Test Veterans

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost of awarding war pensions to all nuclear test veterans suffering from radiation linked disease. [86069]

Mr. Watson: All nuclear test veterans are eligible to claim, under the terms of the war pension scheme, for any disablement causally linked to service rather than for specific conditions or diseases. A war pension is also paid whenever the claimant can raise reasonable doubt, by providing reliable evidence, that the claimed
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disablement is causally linked to service. The War Pensions Scheme considers disablement from radiation linked disease, to include such conditions as certain thyroid and parathyroid diseases, cataracts and malignant disease and cancer. Cancers due to ionising radiation are clinically indistinguishable from those due to any other cause which are common in a population increasing with age. Based on the findings of National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) reports it is war pensions policy that entitlement is given to any type of leukaemia, other than chronic lymphatic with onset, within 25 years of participation at a nuclear test.

Therefore no estimate has been made of the cost of awarding war pensions to all veterans who might be suffering from a radiation linked disease that has arisen some time after service in nuclear test areas as it might not be linked to that service. The value of a disablement award is determined by the assessed level of all service related disablement, which can be re-assessed if there is subsequent deterioration.

Nuclear Waste

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish the inventory of nuclear waste created from all the nuclear weapons programmes in the UK, including the submarine fleet; when the inventory was last updated; and what his plans are for updating the inventory. [87384]

Mr. Ingram: The United Kingdom Radioactive Waste Inventory, published periodically by NIREX and DEFRA, contains details of nuclear waste arising from the Defence programme. An electronic copy of the most recent inventory was published on 19 January 2006 and is available in the Library.

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has a list of radioactive materials that are not included in the inventory of nuclear waste from nuclear weapons programmes. [87385]

Mr. Ingram: All radioactive materials employed in, or arising from, the nuclear weapons programme are either recorded in the United Kingdom Radioactive Waste Inventory or accounted for separately in accordance with statutory requirements.


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