Dear ONR,

I understand that two substantial developments have been approved by the Suffolk Coastal District Council for the Town of Leiston and that approval is conditional upon the ONR agreeing the development will not impact adversely upon the Sizewell Emergency arrangements. I would say that I have some professional expertise in this matter as, Health Physicist at Sizewell A (1962 - 1980), I set up and maintained the original Sizewell Emergency plan.

In 1982, your predecessor organisation, the NII, gave evidence to the Sizewell B Public Inquiry that Leiston and the old Leiston UDC area, because of nuclear emergency considerations, would not be subject to significant development. Indeed it is quoted that only another 157 domestic properties would be approved. Instead of honouring that evidence approximately another 1,000 domestic units have been built in the Town. Despite this the Authorities responsible for emergency actions have never demonstrated by way of an exercise that they could cope with such a large increase in the Town's size. It is now intended to increase the DEPZ to include the Town of Leiston and consequently there should be no further development until it has been established that the Authorities can cope with this new DEPZ.

I would add that as an experienced health physicist I don't think the authorities who are responsible for implementing the emergency arrangements really appreciate what could be involved. In my discussions with some of the senior officers involved they did not appreciate people working in the air contaminated areas would need to be in protective clothing and wearing radiological standard respirators. Neither did they appreciate that the emergency could be related to the loss of electricity in the area, ie a failure of the Grid transmission lines, which means the emergency teams would have work in the dark and not be able to depend upon telephone and radio communication to the general public.

In view of the foregoing I am urging you, the ONR, not to approve any further developments in Leiston, including the Valley Road and Aldeburgh Road developments that have passed Planning consent, but are awaiting your approval, until it has been demonstrated by a realistic practical exercise that the emergency arrangements could protect the Town's population in the event of the maximum credible accident at Sizewell occurring.

Yours sincerely,

Barrie Skecher, B Sc, M Sc, MRSC, C Chem, MSRP, C Rad P, MCMI.



Category: Local Letters