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Last Updated: Friday, 26 March, 2004, 12:15 GMT
Attack clean-up service planned
Rescuers simulate an attack at London's Bank station in
The Home Office said the advice was not in response to a new threat

The government is planning a new service to deal with the aftermath of a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack in the UK.

The plans were disclosed in updated guidance from the Home Office-led Chemical, Biological, Radiological or Nuclear (CBRN) Resilience Programme.

The National Decontamination and Recovery Service would advise and assist after release of CBRN material.

The Home Office said the guidance update did not "signal any new threat".

The guidance states: "The proposed National Decontamination and Recovery Service would, on request from the body co-ordinating the incident response, provide advice and support, including management of the decontamination process."

Advice and assistance

Environment Minister Elliot Morley said the government was "actively considering establishment of a new service to provide advice and assistance in decontamination and clean-up after a CBRN incident".

He said further details would be released "as soon as practicable".

Mr Morley said the guidance had been published to help local authorities and other agencies develop strategies for cleaning up the environment after a CBRN incident.

The document outlines the different roles of agencies in crisis management and long term recovery from any deliberate or accidental release of CBRN material.

It says local authorities would play a lead role in recovery with the assistance of central government with the Home Office initially taking control after a terrorist attack.

Once the "crisis management phase" was over, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) would probably be the main government agency involved.

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