Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 9°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.

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.

0 comments

Posters appealing for information into the disappearance of missing RAF Honington serviceman Corrie McKeague

An “overwhelming” response to a call for help finding Corrie McKeague has seen nearly £30,000 raised to pay for a private investigator to look into the disappearance of the missing RAF serviceman.

Paul Lee says the injury is more likely to be caused by a common spider like this

Suffolk’s arachnid recorder said he would be “very surprised” if claims of a deadly spider infestation in the county were accurate.

Richard Waterhouse. Photo: Essex Police

A drug addict who “lost control” and killed another man he had been taking drugs with in Wivenhoe has been jailed for eight years today.

Shoppers fill the Cornhill area of Ipswich town centre preparing for Christmas

If you are still struggling for Christmas gift ideas for your children, nieces and nephews, this could help you out. Here we list the must-have toys that will be under Christmas trees in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Woodbridge this year.

The crash happened near the A11 in Elveden

The air ambulance has been called alongside other emergency services to a serious crash on the B1106 in Elveden, near Center Parcs.

An East of England Ambulance Trust ambulance. Photograph Simon Parker

A teenager in Eye was taken to hospital after a box fell on his head this morning.

Ipswich Crown Court

A man accused of raping a woman he met on a dating website has been cleared by a jury.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24