Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 4°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

The scene of a thatch fire in Stoke-by-Nayland

A picturesque country cottage is still standing today despite a fire ripping through its thatched roof.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train

Rail services between London Liverpool Street and Norwich have been cancelled after a train fault at Diss.

Colchester Half-Marathon. Starting and finishing at Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Competitors braved the dismal morning weather today to take part in the Colchester Half Marathon.

The scene after the thatched roof fire in Stoke by Nayland - Picture credit - Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service

Ten fire crews tackled a thatched roof blaze in a Suffolk village overnight.

Sir John French: a colourful character and respected soldier

We’ve heard about the Suffolk men who fought at the battle of Neuve Chapelle.

Ipswich Crown Court

A 19-year old man who met up with a 13-year-old girl and exchanged text messages with her despite being given a police caution for kissing her several months earlier has been sentenced to 21 months youth detention.

St Edmundsbury Cathedral overlooking colourful displays in the Abbey Gardens

Suffolk’s most important religious building has been awarded a £300,000 Government grant to pay for urgent roof repairs.

Josephine Murphy

An 86-year-old woman who had gone missing from Clacton has been found safe and well

Aftermath of a barn fire in Holton.

A television antiques expert has appealed for help rebuilding his eco-friendly arts centre in Suffolk after a major blaze destroyed the historic sawmill that was to be its showroom and workshops.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages