In response to a FOI request the MOD have released the minutes of a number of committees concerned with radiation protection and the management of radioactive waste.
Link to FOI requesting :-
"a; the minutes,
c: Terms of reference
a: the Radiation Protection Policy Committee (RPPC)
b: the Radioactive Waste Working Group (RWWG)
c: the Radioactive Waste Information Group (RAWIG),
for the period 1990 to 2000"
The MOD provided the following information
Radioactive Waste Working Group RWWG
Terms of Reference
7 January 1999
20 May 1999
9 September 1999
13 January 2000
7 June 20000
19 September 2000
Radiation Protection Policy Committee RPPC
Terms of Reference
17 October 1996
28 January 1998
9 June 1998
Radioactive Waste Information Group RAWIG
Terms of Reference - not provided
13 January 1999
18 May 2000
8 November 2000
Its notable that apart from the agendas these are the only documents provided, the MOD said that
" Despite an extensive search of the archives we have been unable to locate a complete set of minutes, agendas and terms of reference for the committees detailed in your request. Some of the files which may have contained the minutes, agendas and terms of reference for the committees have been destroyed."
It seems very surprising that the minutes of MOD central committees dealing with issues as significant as radiation safety and the management of radioactive waste and radioactively contaminated land have been lost or destroyed.
These remaining documents provide a snap-shot of the radiation protection and radioactive waste issues faced by the MOD and show how the MOD was responding. The documents also provide a good indication of the value of the papers that have been lost.
The more cynical may be suspect, within the MOD there is a deliberate policy of destroying files to avoid answering difficult questions about past activities and dodging liability. Such a policy appears to have resulted in a "corporate lobotomy" so far as knowledge of historic activities are concerned. It also results in an inability to learn from history that would help inform decisions concerning current activities and issues.
Failure to ensure the preservation of the minutes of the central MOD Committee concerned with Radioactive Waste Management for the period 1975 to 1985.