The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) is pleased to announce that the Hinkley Point A nuclear licensed site is no longer required to have a local authority off-site emergency planning area.
The Hinkley Point A and B sites currently have a 3.5 km radius off-site emergency planning area around them, as defined by the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2001, (REPPIR).
REPPIR require the operator, in this case Magnox Ltd, to assess all of the hazards on the Hinkley Point A site and submit a report of this assessment to ONR. This report, along with any additional information ONR may request, is used to determine the need for, and where appropriate the extent of, the area around the site where the local authority is required to produce an off-site emergency plan.
ONR has concluded that following electricity generation stopping in 2000, the subsequent defueling of the reactors, with the site becoming fuel free in 2010, and subsequent decommissioning operations, that there is no longer a reasonably foreseeable radiation emergency that could occur at Hinkley Point A in Somerset.
George Sallit, ONR Deputy Chief Inspector, said: “The announcement that the Hinkley Point A nuclear site no longer requires a REPPIR off-site emergency planning area is a very positive development. It means that ONR is satisfied that members of the public are no longer at risk from a reasonably foreseeable radiation emergency from the Hinkley Point A site.
“This assessment does not affect the status of the REPPIR off-site emergency planning area for Hinkley Point B, which reflects the residual potential for a reasonably foreseeable radiation emergency from the EDF operated site. This will remain at a radial distance of 3.5 km until ONR determines otherwise.”
Somerset County Council and Magnox Ltd still have other general legal duties to protect the public and have general emergency planning arrangements in place for this site. These include local authority, emergency services’ and health bodies’ duties under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, general duties on the operator under the Health and Safety at Work Act, and more specific duties on the operator relating to emergency arrangements and contingency planning under nuclear site licence conditions, and the Ionising Radiations Regulations.
Homepage image courtesy of Magnox Ltd