Sizewell Off.Site Emergency Preparedness: Regulator Still Fails To Protect Public

Readers of News 192 July 2014, will be aware that we wrote to the Chief Inspector of the Office of Nuclear Regulation asking him to revisit the ONR’s revised proposals in the light of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Guidance which is based on ‘consideration of an extreme accident‘ ( and not merely a ‘reasonably foreseeable radiation emergency’). We sent the Inspector’s reply to the East Anglian Daily Times, which printed the following account.

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However the above report (as printed) fails to mention the key requirement in deciding the boundaries to the Sizewell emergency plans, as posited by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Guidance, post Fukushima, nanely: ‘In preparing emergency plans consideration fo extreme accidents should be observerd‘.

This, of course, is far reaching and goes very much further than the ONR’s pathetic reliance on EDF’s limits of around Sizewell A (425m) and Sizewell B (234m), and requires an emergency plan reaching out to at least 20Km…

All that the ONR has done is to meekly abide by the out-dated requirements of the Radiation Emergency Preparedness and Public Information Regulations 2001 (REPPIR), the current position in law.

Were as we accept that the ONR is, in law, bounded by REPPIR, any real independent public safety body worth its salt would add that, in its view , the regulations area woefully inadequate and must be immediately revised…

As a sop to our concerns, almost as an afterthought, Deputy Chief Inspector George Sallit mentions, in his letter to us, that REPPIR is to be reviewed, but not before 2015, by HSE…

In the light of the present government’s eagerness to suppress any information which is to the detriment of the nuclear industry (see later) it is unlikely that any revision to REPPIR will be in the interest of enhancing public safety;… rather mitigating the responsibilities of the nuclear industry. Shameful!

In the meantime ‘let the devil take the hindmost’ and in the event of a disaster at Sizewell, run for it…