16079 – Nuclear convoy incidents

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A request for information about emergency plans for responding to either a radiation leak or an explosion involving nuclear convoy lorries.

Ref: FOI/16079


I am writing to confirm that the West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information you requested on 15th June 2016.

Please find below a summary of our findings.


  1. What emergency plans you have in place, if any, to respond to either a radiation leak or an explosion involving the nuclear convoy lorries. Such an event could be caused either by a road traffic accident or a deliberate attack on the lorries.


We have Operational Procedure Notes to deal with a range of Hazardous Material Incidents of which radiation would be one. In addition we have plans within our incident room to support the resolution of an incident for the safety of the general public, responding agencies and our own personnel.


  1. How quickly you estimate that the Fire Service could reach the scene of an accident involving a nuclear convoy lorry and how long it would take them to stop a radiation leak.


Where there is a life risk we aim to be in attendance within five minutes. To stop any radiation leak would depend on many factors damage, containers etc. and so would be impossible to say. Any quick actions to limit or stop the leak would be taken to provide the best outcome for all involved.


  1. What amount of information or warning, if any, you are given by the British Government before a convoy travels through the county.


There are many Hazardous Materials that are carried on the transport system in the country without pre warnings being given.


  1. If you have carried out any analysis to determine the radius that might be affected should a nuclear convoy leak radiation or explode.


The Operational Procedure Notes detail and recommends safe distances to approach as well as safe approach routes for hazardous materials. Equipment is also carried on appliances to i.e. radiation survey meters etc. which will also give us safe distances at the incident ground.


  1. If the answer to Question 4 is “Yes”, please describe what you forecast the impact would be.



If you have any queries about this email, please contact me.  Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications. If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision please write to The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW.

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