Select Committee on Trade and Industry Written Evidence


Fifth memorandum by British Energy



  Security at BEG nuclear power stations is subject to the Nuclear Industries Security Regulations (NISR) 2003.

  Under NISR 2003, each BEG Station Director is required to have Site Security Plan (SSP) approved by the Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS). There have of course been several new security initiatives by Government to improve public perception about nuclear security—most notably the introduction of Civil Nuclear Constabulary Police Officers to designated nuclear power stations, to act as both a deterrent to terrorists and also to enhance the local Police armed response capability, should an attack occur. These measures have the confidence of Government and Chief Constables ie that appropriate response measures are in place.

  OCNS, as part of DTI, is the Nuclear Security Regulator in the UK. Not only does OCNS issue NISR Technical Requirement Documents (classified RESTRICTED), but they have a number of OCNS Site Inspectors who visit and inspect Stations, to ensure compliance with prescribed security standards. OCNS have Regulatory enforcement powers to ensure nuclear security and the Director for Civil Nuclear Security (DCNS) publishes an Annual Report on Security in the Nuclear Industries which is submitted to DTI and Parliament.


  Nuclear power stations are "designed" to be far more resilient and robust than conventional plant structures, to ensure "nuclear safety" from normal hazards (eg seismic shock, fire, flooding, ballistic missiles, etc). The "engineering" principles of segregation, redundancy and diversity of plant systems involved are overseen by the NII (as Nuclear Safety Regulators).

  It is important to remember that "engineering" protection against these normal hazards which may happen, also afford protection against malevolent/malicious sabotage or terrorist action that could happen.

  There have been several Post 9/11 surveys to confirm the robustness of our stations. These Vital Area Reviews (an International Standard under INFCIRC/225) are by their nature confidential, but are nevertheless overseen by and involve OCNS Inspectors.

  In July 2005, the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST) issued their own independent report that provided some public assurance on the safety and security of nuclear power stations. Of course, the POST Report acknowledged that much of the information on these sensitive matters was for security reasons not in the public domain.


  Both OCNS and NII have developed a great deal of knowledge about the safety and security of nuclear power stations, including the POST 9/11 studies. There is no doubt that new design and robustness features will be factored into any new build programme.

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