Inquiry into implications of Fukushima for UK nuclear power industry
are some points you might want to make in relation to the inquiry Dr Mike
Weightman the Chief Nuclear Inspector, is conducting into the implications of
the Fukushima disaster and the implications for the UK nuclear power industry.
inquiry will report in May 2011. Even if this is an interim report this seems
very early for the lessons from Fukushima
to be learnt. It would be interesting to know how this timeframe has been
Secretary of State for Energy and
Climate Change has said that the UK
is in a very different position from Japan, which is vulnerable to
strong earthquakes and tsunamis. However nuclear power
stations in UK
will be vulnerable to coastal sea rise, tidal surges, terrorist attacks and air
strikes in the event of conflict.
increasing evidence of the effects of radiation on health, the inquiry should
not focus on safety alone. If the accumulated evidence of the health effects of
radiation were included in the balance of risk, and the precautionary principle
used, it would be clear there should be no nuclear new build. As well as the
considerable evidence of the health consequences following previous nuclear
accidents, it would be good to draw his attention to the findings of the 2008 German KiKK (Childhood Cancer in the Vicinity of
Nuclear Power Plants) study.
inquiry should also include the unresolved issue of the disposal of nuclear
waste and its attendant health effects. In this respect it would be good to
draw his attention to the inadequacy of the peer review process of the European Commission Joint Research Centre’s 2009 report that recommended the deep disposal method, and
the subsequent report by Genewatch-UK ‘Rock Solid’ that raises the risks
associated with this method.
The results of the inquiry are, according to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, to
be ‘applied to the UK’s new build programme'. This
gives the impression that, whatever the findings, the new nuclear build will go
ahead. This would pre-empt what should be a key consideration of the inquiry.