Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 16°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Sizewell: Ex-physicist rejects nuclear safety plans

10:00 14 January 2013

Sizewell C plans

Sizewell C plans

Archant

AN emergency response agency is standing by proposed safety procedures for the Sizewell nuclear site despite scepticism from a former radiation safety specialist.

shares

Barrie Skelcher, a retired Sizewell A health physicist, sought to discredit plans to issue anti-radiation pills if proposals are approved for a new twin reactor.

He also labelled the Suffolk Resilience Forum’s proposed 4km emergency planning zone around the Sizewell site “quite arbitrary”, arguing for a technical assessment of the maximum amount of radioactivity released in the event of a credible accident.

But Suffolk’s current head of public protection said the proposals, which address the risk of a major accident at Sizewell, were based on national and global guidelines

Last week, the Suffolk Resilience Forum, which includes emergency services and local authorities, put forward plans to expand the current 2.4km zone to 4km, covering Leiston and much of Aldringham and Thorpeness, where everyone would receive potassium iodate pills to limit the absorption of radioactive iodine by the thyroid.

Mr Skelcher doubted the effectiveness of the pills if not taken soon enough. He said: “There is no tablet that will neutralise radiation. Unfortunately the concept that there is arises from plans to issue potassium iodate tablets which fill the thyroid gland with stable iodine before the radioactive iodine gets there.

“However the point that is conveniently overlooked is that the tablets should be taken before or very soon after exposure to the radio iodine. Taking them after about three to four hours means they have lost about half their effectiveness - after that, they are pretty well ineffective.

Mr Skelcher also expressed doubt over the 4km emergency zone, in spite of plans for a 15km “precautionary” zone covering Saxmundham. Aldeburgh and Southwold and more than a dozen villages, including Dunwich and Walberswick. He said: “This 4 km zone is quite arbitrary, what is needed is a technical assessment of the amount of radioactivity that would be released in the event of the maximum credible accident.”

Andy Fry, Suffolk County Council’s director of public protection and chair of the Suffolk Resilience Forum, said: “It is important that we have the views of those people around Sizewell before any decisions are made.

“The 4km zone is in line with guidelines issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“Iodine tablets are used throughout the world and are intended to reduce the absorption of radiation. The tablets are pre-issued by NHS Suffolk on the recommendation of the Health Protection Agency.”

shares

0 comments

Travellers reportedly arrived in Grange Farm, Kesgrave on June 15.

Work to move travellers on from parkland in Grange Farm, Kesgrave, is due to continue today, more than two weeks after travellers first arrived.

Philip Heathcote.

It has been confirmed that Philip Heathcote, 52, of Felixstowe, is among the British fatalities of Friday’s Sousse beach shooting.

People enjoy the hot weather  in Christchurch Park in Ipswich - 
Marcelo, Madison, Carla and Leighton Stavolo

There are fears dehydration, heat exhaustion and even heat stroke could put added pressure on heath services this week as temperatures are set to rise to 32C.

Fire at Medi Plinth, Ipswich

A key area of Ipswich went into in lockdown today after a fire broke out at a factory.

New homes are needed in Suffolk Coastal

Community leaders are to carry out a radical shake-up of how they deal with planning matters to streamline and speed-up the decision-making system.

The robbery happened at The White Hart Hotel in High Street, Newmarket

A young member of staff at The White Hart Hotel was attacked during a late-night robbery in which thousands of pounds in cash was stolen.

Bikes stolen

Police are looking for the owners of a number of pedal cycles after they were seized from an address in Stowmarket earlier this month.

Stuart Cullen, from the Lowestoft area, who has died in the terrorist attack in Tunisia.

A community in shock has today continued to its pay heartfelt tributes to a man from the Lowestoft area killed in the Tunisia terrorist slaughter.

Mounted police officers patrol on the beach of  Sousse, Tunisia - AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

Suffolk Police has confirmed that the 52-year-old, from the Lowestoft area, was killed in the shootings in the tourist resort of Sousse on Friday.

Police examining a scene in Clacton the day after the murder.

A man has pleaded guilty to murdering his ex-girlfriend’s father in a late night attack in Clacton.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages