The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has revised the area around the Loch Ewe Operational Berth where local emergency planning is required in order to protect the public in the unlikely event of a radiation emergency.
ONR has responsibility for determining these areas under the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2001 (REPPIR).
ONR has reviewed MOD’s latest assessment of the potential risks from the site and agrees with the conclusion that the overall risk has not increased since the off-site emergency planning area was previously defined. However, the geographical size and the number of properties within the revised area have increased slightly.
This increase is the result of ONR proportionately applying all of its revised principles, which includes the avoidance of bisecting local communities, for determinations to enhance public protection.
The revised area is where the lead local authority, in this case The Highland Council, is required to have an emergency plan in place to protect the public. The off-site emergency planning area for the Loch Ewe Operational Berth has been revised from a circle with 1.5 km radii, to the following area:
- generally a circular area of 1.5 km radius from the Operational Berth over the marine and non-cultivated land environments. Extending to include those properties lying adjacent to the 1.5 km minimum boundary in Aultbea, including properties at Tighnafiline and Badfearn. The area extends to include the cultivated farm land on the Isle of Ewe and the Oil Storage Depot.
ONR has written to The Highland Council and the operator, MOD, advising them of the decision. The Council will revise its off-site emergency plan in consultation with the other emergency responders to ensure proportionate arrangements are in place throughout the new area. REPPIR requires the local authority to revise their off-site emergency plan within six months of the determination (or a longer period as ONR may agree in writing).
As part of The Highland Council’s REPPIR off-site emergency planning requirements, MOD has arrangements in place to implement urgent countermeasures to people living closest to the berth in the event of a nuclear emergency. MOD will work closely with The Highland Council and other responders to do the following:
- ensure that their arrangements continue to complement the local authority emergency plan
- ensure appropriate provision of prior information to the public referred to in the new area determined by ONR.