UK nuclear industry gets green light from government inspector

“But we are not complacent. No matter what the differences are, and how high the standards of design and subsequent operation of the nuclear facilities here in the UK, the quest for improvement must never stop,” he said. — nuclear chief inspector, Mike Weightman

The Guardian:

The UK does not need to curtail the operation of nuclear power stations after the crisis at the Fukushima plant in Japan, the nuclear chief inspector, Mike Weightman, said today.

In an interim report on the lessons that could be learned from the disaster, which followed a 9-magnitude earthquake and a tsunami that battered the Japanese coast, Weightman said similar natural events would not happen in the UK.

(…) The report found no “gaps in scope or depth” in the safety assessment measures for nuclear facilities in the UK, or any “significant weaknesses” in the UK nuclear licensing regime.

It also said there would be considerable scope for lessons about human behaviour in severe accidents, which would be useful for enhancing contingency plans and training in the UK for such events.

(…) He said the report provided the “basis to continue to remove the barriers to nuclear new build in the UK”.

“We want to see new nuclear as part of a low-carbon energy mix going forward, provided there is no public subsidy. The chief nuclear inspector’s interim report reassures me that it can.”

Read the whole thing »