A request for funding to commission a new “independent’ report on the risk of cracks developing in a Suffolk nuclear reactor has been turned down because o fa claim it would not represent good use of taxpayers’ money.
The Sizewell Stakeholder Group, which was set up by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), wants to engage independent nuclear consultancy John Large & Associates to carry out research on the defects found last year in two Belgian reactors and assess whether there is any implication for Sizewell B.
However, the NDA says it would not be good use of taxpayers’ money because there is already an “independent report” on the issue – compiled by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).
After pressure from the Shut Down Sizewell Campaign, the Sizewell Stakeholder Group (SSG) decided earlier this year to hold a public meeting over the risk of cracks developing in the pressure vessel “heart” of the Sizewell B reactor after reports of defects being discovered in similar reactors at Doel and Tihange in Belgium.
Marianne Fellowes, SSG chairman, said she believed there was a case for commissioning an independent assessment of the risks and was disappointed that the group could not have autonomy over its spending.
Together Against Sizewell C, said the NDA had an annual budget of £2.8billion and a chief executive earning £600,000 a year so the cost of commissioning research by John Large – about £2,500 – was “not a lot of money’; in comparison.’
From the East Anglian Daily Times 5h September 2013
The NDA’s decision implies that the vital examination of Sizewell B’s reactor will now not take place until Spring 2016, when the next 10 year Periodic Safety Review is scheduled to take place under the supervision (?) ofthe ONR the so-called independent nuclear regulator.
We find all this unacceptable and demonstrates yet again the NDA’s and the ONR’s cosy relationship with EDF, the operator: our safety is NOT paramount whatever the ONR says…….otherwise they would have carried out the necessary inspection months ago,
as we pleaded with them several times.