The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has revised the extent of the area around the AWE Burghfield Nuclear Licensed Site within which local emergency planning is required in order to protect the public in the unlikely event of a radiation emergency.
ONR has responsibility for determining this area under the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2001 (REPPIR).
The last determination defined an off-site emergency planning area with a circular radius of 1.5 km. The outcome of ONR’s review, taking into account the latest review of hazards on the site which have remained unchanged, relevant practical and strategic considerations relating to Burghfield and the proportion application of ONR’s revised determination principles, is that both the REPPIR off-site emergency planning area and prior information area have been re-defined and the overall geographical area has increased slightly.
The revised emergency planning area is the area within which the lead local authority, in this case West Berkshire District Council, is required to have an emergency plan in place to protect the public.
The revised off-site emergency planning area determined by ONR is a land area which varies from 1.3 km to 2.1 km from the centre of the AWE Burghfield Nuclear Licensed Site, which is defined by roads, a railway line, footpaths and field boundaries. The area includes Poundgreen Farm, James’s Farm and St. Mary’s Church and Parish Centre.
ONR has written to West Berkshire District Council and the operator, AWE Plc, to advise 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 its’ off-site emergency plan within six months of the determination (or such longer period as ONR may agree in writing).