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Nuclear Powered Vessels: Accidents

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 131220, tabled on 17 December 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will issue guidance on the response of coastal local authorities in relation to (a) public health, (b) marine, shoreline and coastal zone pollution and (c) other matters in the event of a nuclear accident involving a nuclear-powered vessel off their coastlines; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

13 January 2021

Part 1 of the Civil Contingencies Act (CCA) 2004 defines the roles and responsibilities for those organisations (including Local Authorities) that would be involved in emergency preparation and response at the local level. It is the responsibility of Local Authorities to put in place emergency preparedness and response plans for different emergency types within its jurisdiction. These plans should be proportionate and commensurate to the consequences and to the likelihood of the risk occurring. In addition, Regulation 22 of the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2019 (REPPIR19) places a duty on all Local Authorities to have arrangements to provide information about any kind of emergency involving ionising radiation and is not limited to emergencies occurring on nuclear or radiological premises. As part of their emergency arrangements, Local Authorities would convene a Strategic Coordinating Group (SCG) which would take overall responsibility for the multi-agency management of the emergency.

BEIS is available to support Local Authorities in the development of emergency plans through participation in local resilience fora such as the Local Authority Nuclear Working Group (LANWG).

Answered by

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy