Four and a half years after the Head of the UK’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) said it ought to happen, the UK is to base its emergency protection against nuclear accidents on “severe nuclear accidents however unlikely” instead of on “reasonably foreseeable accidents” (SNAHU, not RFA). But not until Parliament finds time to debate it, and we must wonder what that means. The ancient and hallowed REPPIR Act of 2001 is to be replaced, but it looks as though the civil protection around Sizewell will still be focussed on what the experts know best. REPPIR was based far too much on what the industry at each site was prepared to say about its dangers.
The good news is that Peter Burt and David Lowry have recently accepted places on an advisory board for the ONR that has been set up. Congratulations to them. Is our nagging about the ONR merely being a tick-box for the government slowly beginning to have an effect?