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Sizewell Power Station

Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 20 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will visit the Suffolk Coastal constituency to inspect the measures taken to protect Sizewell A and B power stations from attack and afterwards address local constituents on this issue. [112880]

There are no plans for a Ministerial visit to the Sizewell nuclear power station in the foreseeable future. However I can assure those who are employed at, or live near the facilities that the UK's civil nuclear sites apply stringent security measures regulated by the Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS), the security regulator. The security regulator works closely with the Health and Safety Executive, the safety regulator, which provides advice on the safety implications of events, including external hazards such as plane crashes, at nuclear installations. Security at nuclear sites is kept under regular review in the light of the prevailing threat and has been significantly enhanced since the terrorist attacks in the USA on 11 September 2001. It is not Government policy to disclose details of these measures, which could potentially be of use to terrorists.However, with specific regard to the Sizewell B nuclear power station, I can say that subsequent to the incursions by Greenpeace in October 2002 and January 2003, the Office for Civil Nuclear Security have reviewed security and some security enhancements were identified which are being implemented as soon as is practicable.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has for alerting local people to subsequent danger in the event of a terrorist attack on Sizewell A and B power stations. [112882]

Emergency preparedness is a well established feature of the safety regime for civil nuclear sites. Co-ordinated plans are prepared by first tier local authorities, in the case of Sizewell Power Station by the Suffolk County Council, under the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2001. These plans include arrangements for alerting local people. Since 11 September 2001, the arrangements to respond to terrorist incidents at nuclear sites have been enhanced. An exercise programme, which has been running over many years, helps ensure emergency response plans are kept up to date and ready at any time.