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Hunterston Power Stations: Safety

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL14712, tabled on 12 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have held in relation to safety issues regarding civil vessels operating in close vicinity to (1) the Hunterston nuclear power station, and (2) nuclear power stations in general.

Answered on

26 April 2021

No discussions have been held specifically in relation to safety issues posed by civil vessels operating in close vicinity to any nuclear site.

Nuclear sites must comply with the UK’s stringent nuclear safety regulations, overseen by a robust and independent regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).

The primary responsibility for nuclear safety, and the assessment of potential risks to a nuclear licensed site from all hazards, rests with the licence holder – in this case Magnox for Hunterston A and EDF Energy for Hunterston B. Under the licence conditions, licensees are required to consider the effect of a wide range of potentially hazardous events (man-made and environmental) and demonstrate that any associated risks to the nuclear facility are manageable and will not result in catastrophic consequences within the nuclear facility’s risk assessment (known as the ‘safety case’).

The ONR would not permit any site to operate if it judged that its safety case was not sufficiently robust and demonstrated that it could operate and shutdown safely under hazardous conditions.

Answered by

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy