Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Technical case on decision made on Leiston Development

Information released

I request a copy of the technical case for whatever decision is made with regard to the Valley Road and Aldeburgh Road proposed developments in Leiston, with respect to nuclear emergency considerations, to which I referred to in my email of 25th May.

In response to your request, I can advise that ONR does not hold this information.

ONR is a consultee and not a decision maker with regard to planning applications for developments around nuclear licensed sites and therefore we do not produce technical cases or similar documents to support the approval (or refusal) of such applications. When consulted, we comment on the proposed development and may: advise against; not advise against; or confirm that we have no comment.

Where a Detailed Emergency Planning Zone (DEPZ) around a nuclear licensed site, as determined by ONR under the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2001 (REPPIR), lies within the boundaries of a local authority, that local authority is required to put in place an adequate off-site plan, to secure the health and safety of members of the public located within the DEPZ, in the event of any reasonably foreseeable radiation emergency arising from the site this legal duty on the local authority provides the basis for their consultation with ONR. In addition, the guidance on REPPIR identifies that it is good practice for the local Authority's emergency arrangements to be extendible (to areas outside the DEPZ) in the event of a radiation emergency that has consequences greater than those that are reasonably foreseeable this is the reason why ONR has an interest in proposed developments outside the DEPZ..

The proposed developments C12/2139 (Aldeburgh Road) and C13/0475 (Valley Road) both meet ONR's current consultation criteria , as they are both located within the Middle Zone around the Sizewell A and Sizewell B nuclear licensed sites close to but outside the current Detailed Emergency Planning Zone (DEPZ). It is ONR's intention to comment on these applications.

ONR's comments with regard to residential planning applications which do not present an external hazard to nuclear licensed sites are largely informed by the views of the relevant local Authority's emergency planners. The results from ONR's periodic evaluations of emergency exercises that test the local Authority's emergency arrangements may also be taken into consideration. Following consultation with the emergency planners, if we were satisfied that the proposed development could be accommodated within the local Authority's off-site emergency planning arrangements, then we would have no grounds to advise against. If we were not satisfied, then we would advise against the development.

With regard to these specific proposals, ONR consulted the Suffolk Coastal emergency planners in February and April 2013. However, as you are aware, ONR are currently involved in a review of the extent of the DEPZ around the Sizewell sites and the emergency planners have confirmed that they will not be able to respond until this review process is complete. ONR has therefore not yet commented on either of these applications.

Exemptions applied

Reg 13 Personal Information, this is an absolute exemption and not subject to the Public Interest Test.

Reg 12(5) (a) - international relations, defence, national security or public safety.

PIT (Public Interest Test) if applicable

Factors for disclosure Reg 12(5)(a)

Issues related to the nuclear industry are subject to close scrutiny and debate, there is public interest in information related to nuclear activities and the release of such information.

Factors for withholding

None applicable.

Conclusion

None applicable.