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Posted: Tue May 10, 2011 9:55 am
by kbcl1


The United Kingdom government has responded to concerns expressed by the Celtic League about the extension to the operating life of nuclear power plants such as the Wylfa power station on Anglesey (see link): ... ssage/3628

The reply from Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Minister of State Charles Hendry MP is extensive however it seems to miss the point i.e. post Fukushima previous regulatory norms in respect of nuclear power station are no longer adequate (see below).

"26 April 2011

Thank you for your letter dated 2 April to Chris Huhne, about nuclear energy. I am replying as this matter falls within my portfolio.

Both the Government and the UK civil nuclear industry take very seriously their responsibilities towards ensuring the safety activities at nuclear installations, with regards to the workforce and the wider public. The UK has in place a strict regulatory regime, which provides for the application of high standard of safety aimed both at minimising radiation exposures from normal operations, and at preventing major accidental releases of radioactivity at nuclear installations.

The nuclear operators are required to demonstrate to the Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR) the safety activities at nuclear sites, and that they are complying with the strict conditions of their nuclear site license and other relevant safety legislation. They are legally obliged to have detailed emergency plans - which would be put into effect for serious accidents - and have reporting arrangements for incidents occurring on their sites. The system of regulation is enforced under the Health and Safety Work Act 1974 through day to day contact with operators, by ONR site inspectors and through regular corporate level exchanges.

The ONR requires operators to keep the safety of nuclear sites under constant review. For UK power stations, the ONR will only consent to restart operations after an outage, when it is satisfied that the operator's safety case justifies it during the remainder of its planned lifetime.
This includes life extension plans for any nucIear site.

The licensing regime requires licensees to re-view and re-assess the safety of their plants periodically and systematically. Periodic Safety Reviews (PSRs), which are normally carried out on a ten yearly cycle, are normally placed in the public domain once the regulator agrees that the findings have met the safety requirements.

The UK Government is also signatory to a range of international conventions and treaties under which the operation of the nuclear industry and the UK regulatory framework is scrutinised against international recognised good practice. The wide ranging powers of the UK regulators ensure that our obligations under these arrangements are met fully, and has produced a safety record that is amongst the best in the world.

In its 2009 report on the UK system, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Integrated Regulatory Review Service noted that the UK has a mature and transparent regulatory system and advanced review process - which is backed up by highly trained, expert and experienced nuclear inspectors. The report also noted the UK's ability to effectively manage safety in the nuclear industry, both now and in the future, through the proposed establishment of the ONR, as it stated that `Once again the UK are showing World leadership - an encouraging example to all in the World preparing for the challenges of the future"

In the light of the tragic events in Japan, Chris Huhne, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, has asked UK Chief Nuclear Inspector Dr Mike Weightman to provide a report to the Government on the implications of the unprecedented events in Japan and the lessons to be learned for the UK nuclear industry. He has asked for an interim report by mid-May 2011 and a final report within six months. The reports will be put in the public domain. The report will be conducted in close cooperation with the IAEA Japan, and other international regulators to carefully establish what lessons can be learned.

Dr Weightman must establish the facts of these unprecedented events and determine if there are lessons to be learned for the UK; to add to our very robust safety standards and arrangements. His report will be public, independent, evidence-based, comprehensive, wide in scope and based on the best technical advice - consulting nationally and internationally with colleagues and organisations who, like us, have the safety and security of people and society uppermost in our minds.

The Secretary of State's request has made it clear that Dr Weightman has full independence to determine the scope of the report and the arrangements for conducting it. The reports will not address nuclear or energy policy issues, as these are outside the role and responsibilities of the nuclear regulator.

Dr Weightman has said that it is not possible to define the final scope of the report at this stage. The events in Japan are not yet clear and relevant issues may emerge over the coming days or weeks that would need to be taken into account in the final report. It is also possible that, once defined, the scope of the full report will need to be refined as further information becomes available.

With regards Wylfa specifically, the lifetime extension required clear regulatory sanction before implementation.

If you do not already do so, you may be interested in receiving a copy of our monthly DECC Stakeholder Bulletin. To add your name to our mailing list, please go to:

https://public. qovdelivery. corn/accounts/U KDECC/subscriber/new.


The League still await a response from the Irish government who have been urged to raise the service life extension of wylfa with International regulatory body the IAEA (see link): ... ssage/3629

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works
to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a
broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights
human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on
socio-economic issues.

TEL (UK)01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609

Internet site at:


Posted: Tue May 10, 2011 12:18 pm
by Marhak
Ah, they'll tell you, it took a 30 foot tsunami to create that situation at Fukushima. Hardly likely in Britain. Wrong - it's VERY likely in Britain.

On the island of La Palma, in the Canary Islands, is a simmering volcano called Cumbre Vieja. It's next major eruption is already overdue and, when it does happen, it will create the biggest landslide in human history, dropping vertically into deep ocean water. The initial dome of water this will create is forecast to be 2000 feet high before it translates into a series of the biggest tsunamis ever seen. On the eastern seaboard of the United States, these will be roughly 120 feet high, travelling at 600mph, taking out every major city from Boston to Miami, even Washington DC. Brittany and Cornwall will get a series of 50 foot waves. As they surge up the Channel, they'll be 25-30 feet when they take out the Dungeness nuclear power station, and a similar size when they surge up the Irish Sea to Sellafield. More or less the same size as the waves that created the Fukushima situation. When will this happen? Maybe in 100 years time, maybe tomorrow, just after tea. The volcano will decide. Governments know that this will happen. What contingency planning measures have they taken? You've guessed it. None. "Can't happen to us".

(Cornwall had a major tsumami in prehistory, and a smaller one after the Lisbon earthquake in the 1700s)