Public is losing faith in nuclear regulator, says watchdog group

A decision to exclude a watchdog group from a meeting about the Sizewell emergency plan is helping to destroy public confidence inthe independence of the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), according to the group’s chairman.
Marianne Fellowes, chairman of the Sizevrell Stakeholder Group (SSG), said she was very disappointed that the ONR had refused to allow an observer to attend the meeting – about the future extent of the area around the nuclear site for which detailed emergency plans should be formulated.
The existing zone extends to 2.4Km and excludes most of the built-up area of Leiston.
The ONR meeting was attended by officials from EDF Energy owner of Sizewell B, and Magrrox Electric, in charge of decommissioning work at Sizewell A, as well as a deligate from Suffolk County Council.
Both EDF and Magaox believe the existing zone.is adequate for the risk involved.
However, the SSG and a significant number of people who responded to a county council consultation believe the radius should be extended to at least 4km- in line with international guidelines following the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan.
Local anti-nuclear groups are pointing to the evacuation which took place in Japan and are calling for the raclius to be at least 20km.
Ms. Fellowes said the ONR decision-making process was very important to SSG members who had devoted time and energy to take part in the public consultation.
But the group had been told that it was “not appropriate” to send an observer.
“I am disappointed as it would, have been very easy to exclude the public from other items on the agenda. Decisions like this destroy the public confidence in the independence of the ONR,” she said.
Ms Fellowes said she had requested a copy of notes from the meeting.
An ONR spokesman said the meeting had involved org:anisations with legal responsibilities relating to the emergency plan.
“Although we won’t be publishing notes of this meeting, ONR will publish our project assessment report which will explain the basis of our decision on the detailed emergency planning zone,” he added.

From the East Anglian Daily Times, 12 September 2013

In this connection, we have lost confidence in the Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the Suffolk Resilience Forum (part of the Suffolk County Council) which conducted a sham public consultation earlier this year about the extent of the area around the Sizewell site for which revised detailed emergency plans should be made: see our News 187, September 2013 for details.
Our indefatigable member, Peter Lanyon, has been endeavouring on behalf of our Campaign since early May to obtain corrections to the false published results of the SRF public consultation, but to no avail.
Our complaint about these false results to the CEO of the ONR to Cllr. Andy Fry, Head of public protection SCC, to Andy Osman Head of Emergency Planning SCC, to the Chief Executive of the SCC, and finally to the SCC Complaints Manager, all drew a rejection of our complaint.
Which has left us with no alternative but to register a formal complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman – which we have done.
We have also lost confidence in the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (the parent body of the Sizewell Stakeholder Group) over its outrageous decision not to fund the very reasonable fee for independent Dr. John Large of Consulting Engineers Large and Associates of London, to give a public review concerning the very real possibility of cracks in the Sizewell B reactor, following cracking found in two similar Belgian reactors and two others in America.
In the light of recent revelations in ‘The Times’ of 7th September of enormous of multi-million bonuses paid out by the NDA (taxpayers’ money) to the company charged with clearing up the Sellafield nuclear complex – even though the company missed its contractual individual completion targets – raising the question: Was it not money but a Government political decision not to allow a public platform to Dr. Large in case he expressed views inimical to a Government hell-bent on foisting on us all yet more dangerous nuclear follies – Hinkley C and Sizewell C.?
The only safe measure is to shut down Sizewell B and not build any more: think Fukushima……..