Emergency Preparedness and Public Information – 20 May 2014

The Editor,
East Anglian Daily Times,
30 Lower Brook Street,
Ipswich, Suffolk. IP4 1AN

Sir,
We have recently obtained a copy of the Office of Nuclear Regulation’s 31-page Project Assessment Report (PAR) issued 23.a April 2014,which is entitled ‘Determination of Sizewell Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2001 REPPIR – covering Sizewell A and B off-site emergency planning area.’

In this connection it is important to note that, on 1st April this year, the ONR announced that it is now a separate organisation, free from the HSE; and, so it says, is independent of government.

The upshot of PAR is to ‘increase’ the emergency planning area around Sizewell from its previous 2.4km to 2km to 3km, depending upon the inhabitants’ affected post codes …. a post code lottery.

This pathetic ‘increase’ is the result of REPPIR requirements to observe ‘a reasonably foreseeable radiation emergency’ coupled with technical assessments by the operators of Sizewell A and B – technical reports that say limits around A [425m) and B (23am) should be used as the foundation of defining the extent of the need for local off-site emergency planning under REPPIR (Regulation 9).

It is interesting to note that these limits are based on ?-redacted in PAR; why? And what is the science and reasoning behind the chosen limits?

These technical assessments were accepted by the ONR at a recent private, limited, meeting locally with Sizewell A and Sizewell B, when even the Sizewell Stakeholder Group were denied attendance – even as observers….

So much for ONR’s much vaunted transparency ….

Is is obvious from a close reading of the REPPIR regulations that they are totally inadequate to deal with a real accident at Sizewell, and the ONR should not use them as a cover for doing virtually nothing to protect the local populace, (if that is possible).

Rather the ONR should have taken cognisance of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s guidance which is based on ‘consideration of extreme accidents’,c.f. Chernobyl, Fukushima. (Page 22 of PAR)

It is obvious that the ONR (with, no doubt, the backing of the government) has completely ignored the reality of an extreme accident at Sizewell because, (post Fukushima), to so do, would require an emergency plan reaching out to at least 20km – an impossible area to implement population evacuation in the event and in the short time vitally necessary.

The inevitable conclusions to be drawn from all this are:

  1. Firstly the need forthe immediate shut down, permanently, of Sizewell
  2. No further new nuclear build – Sizewell C and Hinkley Point C.
  3. Evidence, once again, of the ONR’s failure to protect the public from the results of a nuclear disaster (if that were possible).
  4. We have no faith in the ONR: who has? -Apart from those whose bread is buttered by the nuclear industry.

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Charles Barnett

Chairman
Shut Down Sizewell Campaign.
Tudor House,
Dunwich