On 12 March 2011, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne, requested me to produce a report on the implications for the UK nuclear industry of the events at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station in Japan and to identify lessons. As requested by the SoS, I will provide an interim report by mid-May 2011 and a final report in September.
The Secretary of State made clear that I have full independence to determine the scope of my report. On 29 March I issued a statement on the broad scope of the report. However I recognise that the intended scope may need to be refined as further information becomes available.
The report will be comprehensive, wide in scope, based on firm evidence, informed by stakeholders, open and transparent. This will not constitute a wholesale review of nuclear safety in the UK. We have robust nuclear regulatory standards in the UK, but we must assess the implications of the unprecedented events in Japan and establish if lessons are to be learned. The issues and lessons will be examined in co-operation and co-ordination with national and international experts and organisations. An independent technical advisory panel is being set up, consisting of technical experts nominated by a range of stakeholders, to provide expert advice to me.
It is vital that we have available as much technical evidence and facts as possible relating to the events in Japan and their potential lessons for enhancing nuclear safety in the UK. I am therefore inviting a broad range of stakeholders to submit any evidence which they consider may help inform and support the development of my report.
I am particularly interested in:
I should emphasise that the information submitted should be technically based and relevant to the events in Japan, and not about nuclear or energy policy issues as these are outside the role and responsibilities of the nuclear regulator.
My report will be produced in an open and transparent way. I therefore intend to publish all submissions on ONR's website as they are received, so please do not send anything that is copyright. If you do not want your submission to be published, please explain your reasons for this in your submission and highlight the relevant section(s. An automatic confidentiality disclaimer will be disregarded. Under access to information regimes I cannot give an assurance that confidentiality can be maintained. Personal data will be processed in accordance with DPA. If you have already provided us with relevant information, we will also publish this on our website, unless you notify us to the contrary within the next 10 days.
To ensure that we consider major issues as part of the interim report, please send such issues by 15 April 2011 to Fukushima.ONRReport@hse.gov.uk. Your full submission should then be sent to the same email address by 15 June 2011. I recognise that the situation in Japan may continue to evolve and become clearer beyond that date, so please continue to submit any significant new additional information after that date.
HM Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations, Head of ONR