HSE's decision follows extensive consultation and takes into account factors such as the adequacy of information provided by Magnox Electric Ltd, the conclusion that environmental benefits will far outweigh any detriments and the prediction there will be no significant effects on other countries.
Copies of 'The decision on the application to carry out a decommissioning project at Sizewell A power station under the Nuclear Reactors (Environmental Impact Assessment for Decommissioning) Regulations
1999: A report prepared by the Health and Safety Executive' are available from: HSE Knowledge Centre, Building 1, Redgrave Court, Merton Road, Bootle L20 7HS. Tel: 0151 951 4000; mailto:
The report is available on HSE's website.
1. European Council Directive 85/337/EEC, as amended by Directives 97/11/EC and 2003/35EC, sets out a framework for assessing the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment and on public participation. For decommissioning nuclear reactor projects, the Directive is implemented in Britain by the Nuclear Reactors (Environmental Impact Assessment for Decommissioning) Regulations 1999, as amended by the Nuclear Reactors (Environmental Impact Assessment for Decommissioning) (Amendment) Regulations 2006.
2. The aim of the Regulations is to involve the public, through consultation, in considering the potential environmental impact of decommissioning projects, and to make the decision-making process on granting consent open and transparent. They require a licensee to undertake an environmental impact assessment, prepare a statement summarising the environmental effects of the project, and apply to HSE for consent to carry out a decommissioning project. There is an optional stage where the licensee may request from HSE an opinion on what the environmental statement should contain (called a pre-application opinion).
3. Magnox Electric Ltd requested a pre-application opinion and provided information in a scoping report in September 2004. HSE undertook a public consultation and provided its pre-application opinion in November 2004. Magnox Electric Ltd applied to HSE for consent to carry out decommissioning and provided an environmental statement in September 2005. Further public consultation, which ended in February 2006, was undertaken. HSE requested evidence to verify information, which Magnox Electric Ltd subsequently provided. Both consultations involved around 120 individuals in 60 organisations and members of the public.
4. HSE granted consent to carry out decommissioning at Sizewell A on
23 May 2006. Conditions are attached concerning mitigation measures to prevent, reduce and, where possible, offset adverse environmental effects. In brief, Magnox Electric Ltd must prepare an environmental management plan that identifies mitigation measures and reports on implementation and effectiveness of, and any changes to, these (plus the reasons for any changes) in light of experience. HSE must be notified in advance of any significant change to a measure to control any major adverse environmental effects. A copy of the environmental management plan and its subsequent revisions must be sent to HSE and made available to the public.
5. Sizewell A is the fifth nuclear power station site at which HSE has granted consent for decommissioning under the Regulations, the others being Hinkley Point A, Bradwell, Chapelcross and Calder Hall.