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Nuclear Power Stations and the Risk to Scotland

During the early months of 2020, Scottish CND has been in contact with government and regulatory representatives, raising awareness of safety concerns at Hunterston B power station - concerns which have been amplified by the pressures put on staffing requirements as a result of COVID-19.

In February 2020, we wrote to Paul Wheelhouse MSP warning of numerous risks associated with the continued operation of Hunterston B. These include the venting of radioactive gases when the reactors are shut down (as they were this summer), the continued build-up of radioactive waste, and the terrible risk of contamination to virtually the whole of the Central Belt of Scotland in the event of an accident at the plant. We strongly challenged EDF's attempt to shrink the zone immediately around the power station - where people would be issued with iodine tablets and evacuated in the event of an accident - from 1km to 2.4km: an attempt which is all the more astonishing given the recent decision in France to extend such zones from 10km to 20km around each nuclear power station there.

In May 2020, we wrote to the UK Office for Nuclear Regulation and asked how staffing levels were being managed at Hunterston B power station as a result of COVID-19, and how this would affect safety at the plant. We stressed that the reactors, which were closed at the time, should never be reopened, least of all during a global pandemic.