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Close Torness and Block Hunterston Restarts

COVID-19: Call on Office for Nuclear Regulation to Close Torness and Block Hunterston Restarts

In the light of concerns over adequate staffing levels as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Scottish CND is urging the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) to order the shutdown of the Torness nuclear generation plant and refuse to allow the restart of reactors 3 and 4 at Hunterston B.

In a letter to the ONR's Chief Inspector Mark Foi, SCND Chair Lynn Jamieson asks what percentage of the workforce is COVID-19 affected and what percentage is self-isolating. She points out that concern is intensified by the news that the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) is willing to consider COVID-19 a possible reason for overlooking failures to meet regulatory requirements concerning discharges of radioactivity into the environment, as an indication that the regulatory framework as a whole may be prioritising business as usual over public safety.

Lynn Jamieson said:

"We know that Scotland's electricity supply can be maintained without Torness and without restarting the troubled Hunterston reactors. At a time like this why should we gamble with the safety of the whole central belt of Scotland by running reactors known to have serious faults, and operating with critically reduced staffing rosters? Given the gravity of the risks in such operations, along with the pressures of the current crisis, the ONR must take its responsibilities seriously."

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