No room for complacency in nuclear report

No room for complacency in nuclear report

Prospect has welcomed the finding by the chief nuclear inspector that there is no reason to curtail the operation of nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities in the UK, or prevent the planned building of new reactors from going ahead.

Dr Mike Weightman’s interim report into the events at Fukushima nuclear plant also praised the safety culture within the UK’s nuclear industry.

On behalf of 21,000 professionals in energy, Prospect General Secretary Paul Noon said: “Dr Weightman’s preliminary findings are encouraging. He points out that the direct causes of the nuclear accident are far beyond the most extreme natural events that the UK could be expected to experience and that UK nuclear power plants are of a different design to the reactors at Fukushima 1 site.

“He also recognises the responsible leadership the UK industry has exercised over safety and its determination to learn the lessons of Fukushima. This is very reassuring to our members in the nuclear industry.”

But Noon noted Dr Weightman’s 25 interim recommended areas of review, and backed the view that there is no room for complacency by the industry.

“The interim report stresses that no matter how high the standards of nuclear design and subsequent operation, the quest for improvement must never stop, and periodic reviews of safety are an essential requirement.

“The Japanese are still dealing with the aftermath of the disaster and the full facts are not yet clear. There is a still a lot of work to be done, and many lessons to learn, and we look forward to the more comprehensive report in September.”