Nuclear safety 'must not become a political football'
A national energy conference has heard from the chief nuclear inspector about the lessons to be learnt from the Fukushima disaster.
Speaking at the 2011 Energy Choices conference, Dr Mike Weightman highlighted the need for more effective communication from the nuclear industry about security issues and for a greater sense of "openness and transparency".
Weightman said: "Poor communication can lead to nuclear safety and security becoming a political football."
"It is important not to confuse politics with nuclear safety. I firmly believe that openness and transparency in external communication are key."
He continued: "Trust and confidence cannot be presumed in the midst or aftermath of an incident."
Weightman, HM chief inspector of nuclear installations at the Office for Nuclear Regulation, went on to outline the approach adopted by the UK nuclear industry to Fukushima.
Praising the "robust regulation" currently existing within the UK, he reassured conference delegates that the industry remained eager to continue, and indeed improve, its record of safety.
He said: "We are not resting on our laurels; rather we seek to change to be more efficient."
"Generally the UK nuclear industry has responded effectively to Fukushima and has remained committed to continuous improvement."
Energy Choices is an annual conference organised by the Nuclear Industry Association as an-all energy event with representatives from the renewables, oil and gas industries. The Energy Choices 2011 annual conference was hosted by the NIA’s chairman Lord Hutton.
Others speakers at the conference, which included sessions on nuclear skills and decommissioning, the UK’s new nuclear build plans and the European and global nuclear perspective, included Alan Raymant of Horizon Nuclear Power and Olivier Carret of NuGeneration Ltd.