North Ayrshire Council’s Cabinet have considered a report into a proposed new boundary for the Detailed Emergency Planning Zone (DEPZ) around Hunterston B Nuclear Power Station. The size and shape of the DEPZ around the site was previously determined by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) before the introduction of new legislation last year, called Radiation Emergency Preparedness and Public Information. The legislation sets the boundary of the Outline Planning Zone (OPR) as a distance of 30km from Hunterston. The main change sees local authorities now determining the size of the much smaller DEPZ – the immediate area around a nuclear facility. Currently, the DEPZ is delineated by a 2.4km circle around the nuclear facility. The council is obliged to set the boundary on the basis of recommendations from EDF as operator which recommended 2km. This was independently checked with Public Health England, Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards and those who live within the current 2.4km zone were also consulted. The report states that the DEPZ boundary should include everyone currently within the DEPZ. It would no longer be a circle but will take into account the local geography and topography, meaning it will, in future, be more reflective of conditions on the ground. Every one of the households currently within the DEPZ will continue to receive information and pre-distributed stable iodine tablets to allow them to be prepared in the unlikely event of an offsite release of radiation. The risk rating for the Hunterston site has not altered and remains very low.
Ardrossan Herald 23rd Jan 2020 read more »