Office for Nuclear Regulation

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AWE Emergency Planning Zones

Information released

The published minutes of the 70th AWE Local Liaison Committee meeting on 19th September 2012 make reference on page 4 to proposals to amend the Detailed Emergency Planning Zone around the Aldermaston site. Please could the Office for Nuclear Regulation provide copies of information referred to there, namely the "reasonable foreseeable radiation emergency":

Response

The information we hold on the impact and consequences of emergencies that the licensee considers to be reasonably foreseeable is detailed in the licensee's Report of Assessment (which is available to the public in line with the requirements of the legislation) and in the report released under the second part of your request

ONR's "assessment report" of AWE's proposals:

Response

Please find attached Document 1 a copy of our assessment report "ONR Assessment of AWE's 2011 REPPIR Submissions", ONR-AWE-AR-2012-001.  We are currently completing our evaluation of the recommendations of this report and other relevant factors' Once this is done, we will be preparing and publishing a further report giving the rationale for our determination of the extent of the detailed emergency planning zone for the Aldermaston site.

Communications with West Berkshire Council on the matter:

Response

Please find enclosed copies of communications with West Berkshire Council:

Any updates on the issue provided to the December meeting of the AWE Local Liaison Committee:

Response

We do not retain copies of minutes of or presentations made to the Local Liaison Committee.  However, AWE are likely to be placing copies of this material on its own website in the near future.

Exemptions applied

Reg 12(5) (a) a public authority may refuse to disclose information to the extent that its disclosure would adversely affect (a) International relations, defence, national security or public safety.

Reg 13 - Personal Information, which is an absolute exception and not subject to a Public Interest Test.

PIT (Public Interest Test) if applicable

Factors for disclosure for Reg 12(5) (a)

There is a public interest in Government being as open as possible about matters of nuclear security

Factors for withholding

There is a clear requirement to prevent the disclosure of sensitive information about nuclear security that could assist a person or group planning theft, blackmail, sabotage and other malevolent or illegal acts involving nuclear sites, nuclear material or individuals working on or with those sites and materials.

Reasons why public interest favours with holding information 

The balance is clearly in favour of limiting the potential for a malicious act. The public interest test in this instance would favour prudence by not releasing this information.