Skip to main content

Nuclear Power Stations

Volume 454: debated on Monday 11 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what procedures are in place for informing the Health and Safety Commission about potential risks resulting from (a) maintenance failures and (b) disrepair at UK nuclear power stations. (104999)

The Health and Safety Commission and Executive are responsible for regulating the safety of the UK's nuclear power stations. These may only be built and operated following the granting of a Nuclear Site Licence by the Health and Safety Executive, to which it attaches standard conditions for the management of nuclear safety. The licensee is responsible for complying with these conditions and ensuring that risks to workers and the public from its operations are reduced so far as is reasonably practicable.

The licence conditions require the licensee to maintain safety significant plant in good condition and take appropriate action in response to any findings from maintenance or inspection of plant that indicate safe operation might be affected. This includes recording, investigating and reporting the findings. The more safety significant findings must be reported to the Health and Safety Executive's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, which investigates them and carries out its own independent inspections and assessments of plant operation and condition. The Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations periodically reports upon nuclear safety issues to the Health and Safety Commission and its Nuclear Safety Advisory Committee (NuSAC).