Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 7°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Sizewell: Senior official disputes nuclear safety claim as public consultation continues into emergency plans

10:00 22 January 2013

Officials are currently consulting on emergency plans in the wake of a nuclear disaster at Sizewell

Officials are currently consulting on emergency plans in the wake of a nuclear disaster at Sizewell

© Mike Page all rights reserved. Before any use is made of this image including display, publication, broadcast, syndication or

A SENIOR Suffolk official has disputed suggestions that too little attention has been paid in the past to protecting the wider community from a nuclear disaster on the Suffolk coast.

shares

The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) – a national group of councils opposing the expansion of nuclear power in the UK - has welcomed proposals to extend the Sizewell emergency zone to four kilometres to include the whole of the town of Leiston.

Proposals by the Suffolk Resilience Forum, which includes the emergency services and local councils, also suggests a campaign to raise awareness of emergency arrangements within a 15 kilometre radius of the Sizewell site.

The NFLA says it welcomes the acknowledgement that there is a low awareness of the potential dangers of a nuclear emergency in the local community and that efforts should be made to increase information about the likely impact over a wider area. It says in a statement: “The NFLA asks the obvious question of why such information has never been attained in the decades of existence of the Sizewell nuclear reactors which clearly would be beneficial in effectively responding to a nuclear emergency.”

Mark Hackett. NFLA chair, said: “The Fukushima disaster showed the huge problems in evacuating large numbers of people and that evacuation is more than likely to take place over a much larger area than the Sizewell plan suggests.”

Andy Osman, Suffolk’s head of emergency planning, said the current public consultation on emergency arrangements was an attempt to conform to emerging changes to UK policy, partly as a result of the nuclear emergency at Fukushima in Japan.

“Contrary to the NFLA’s assertion, Suffolk’s contingency plans have always been extendable beyond the detailed emergency planning zone and part of the consultation is aimed at formalising these wider arrangements to promote better public awareness,” he said. Mr Osman said he welcomed the NFLA’s views and hoped these would assist the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Office for Nuclear Regulation to make changes to national policies and guidance for nuclear emergency planning.

“We should not forget that the Sizewell emergency arrangements are for the protection of local communities and it is important to recognise that for the first time many local people and community groups are now able to have their say on proposed changes to emergency plans rather than these just being imposed,” he added.

The public consultation on the emergency plan proposals ends on April 8. Visit www.suffolkresilience.com or www.suffolk.gov.uk for more details.

shares

0 comments

Langham cottage fire. Photo: Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

A blaze at a thatched cottage in a village near the Suffolk/Essex border was tackled by firefighters for around seven hours overnight.

Gena Moore from Nelson’s Journey with Simon and Anne Beckett-Allen of Rosedale Funeral Home

A funeral home with branches in north Suffolk has continued its support for local bereaved children by commissioning a doll’s house style church to help support workers explain what happens at a funeral.

Felixstowe Road Runners

Runners from Suffolk and Essex will once again be flocking to the Capital, this weekend, to take part in the 35th staging of the London Marthon.

Man wanted in connection with a burglary at Playford Court in Sudbury

CCTV images of a man wanted over thefts from properties at sheltered housing complexes in Sudbury.

Cyclists taking part in the Suffolk Sunrise 100 bike ride for children's charity Action Medical Research in 2012

More than 1,300 cyclists are expected to line up for the start of a fundraising ride through the Suffolk countryside in just over a fortnight.

MRSA rates revealed

Drastic measures to tackle potentially life-threatening bugs have significantly reduced outbreaks in our hospitals, an investigation has found.

Haverhill High Street

A man was stabbed in Haverhill in the early hours of this morning.

Lieutenant Colonel Charles Doughty-Wylie

A Victoria Cross recipient credited with turning defeat into victory at Gallipoli will be honoured in his home village this weekend – 100 years after he died in battle.

Julie Myerson

It was World Book Night this week. We asked some of our favourite local authors for the three books they’d most want on a desert island. Would you choose the ones they did?

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans

Ipswich Town’s Supporters Club has said it is “great news” that owner Marcus Evans’ wealth has gone up almost 10% – to £765million.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages