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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 21 June 2011, Official Report, column 5WS, on Fukushima (Interim Report), what resources will be committed to the review of the Japanese response to the Fukushima emergency to identify lessons for UK public contingency planning for widespread emergencies; and whether he expects to engage independent experts to assist in the review.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Cabinet Office are currently considering what Government resources will be committed to the review of the Japanese response to the Fukushima emergency, including possible engagement with independent experts. This review was recommended by the Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations in his interim report on the implications for the UK nuclear industry of the Fukushima incident (the ‘Weightman Report’). The Office for Nuclear Regulation's costs in preparing the Weightman Report have been met from its existing budget, which is largely recovered from industry.
The Nuclear Emergency Planning Liaison Group (NEPLG) will play an important role in the Government's response to the events at Fukushima. The group, which is resourced by Departments and agencies nationally, is currently reviewing the capacity and capability of the UK's nuclear emergency response arrangements to effectively manage a prolonged nuclear emergency, caused by a UK or overseas incident. The NEPLG is a national forum, which brings together organisations with an interest in off-site planning for an emergency at civil nuclear sites, including licensed site operators, and representatives from local authorities and the emergency services. Under its terms of reference, the group agrees improvements in planning, procedure and organisation which might form a framework of advice to nuclear operators, the emergency services and those other organisations that may be involved in the response to a nuclear emergency.