Re: [SystemSafety] nuclear energy - disparate policies?

From: Littlewood, Bev < >
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2013 10:33:35 +0000


In the UK for many years we had a committee of independent technical experts, NuSAC (Nuclear Safety Advisory Committee). I was a member for 15 years. The committee was notable for being independent of both licensees (e.g. EDF) and regulators (e.g. ONR, Office for Nuclear Regulation). It played an important role during the licensing of the Sizewell B plant - particularly w.r.t. the (then) novelty of a software-based primary protection system. Its involvement in this issue was not universally welcomed....

Not long afterwards, NuSAC's powers were curtailed - most notably its direct access to government ministers was withdrawn.

Then NuSAC was peremptorily shut down in 2006. It was claimed at the time that this was a temporary measure so that it could be reconstituted shortly afterwards. But this never happened.

A cynic might think that the powers-that-be did not want these busybodies nosing around during the lead-up to our new build of nuclear reactors.


From: Peter Bernard Ladkin <ladkin_at_xxxxxx Sent: 22 October 2013 11:08
To: systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Subject: Re: [SystemSafety] nuclear energy - disparate policies?

The politicians charged with making the decisions about such things are not necessarily well versed in either the history or the engineering. I would doubt that many of them have read, for example, Lorna Arnold's history of the 1957 Windscale meltdown. (The plant was called Calder Hall, then Windscale, and now Sellafield.) That is why they have advisors who are. Any decision on these matters is likely to have a good dose of expert-advisory opinion behind it. But sometimes not, of course.......

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systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Received on Tue Oct 22 2013 - 12:33:56 CEST

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