Scottish Government officials are and will continue to be in regular contact with the nuclear safety and security regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), in respect of safety matters at all Scottish Civil Nuclear sites.
In respect of Hunterston B, whilst there have been no specific scheduled meetings, telephone and written contact has been regular, with ONR providing their latest updates to officials. During the latest communications on 28 November and 19 December 2018, ORN outlined their extensive involvement in this issue, namely:
ONR regulates EDF through on-site inspections which ensure that EDF controls its hazards effectively and maintains the highest nuclear safety and security standards. Site inspectors also provide advice on how to comply with legal requirements. ONR also assesses the adequacy of safety cases to ensure that the hazards are properly controlled. ONR holds regular meetings with EDF to discuss graphite cracking.
Supporting front line site inspectors is a team of specialist inspectors from ONR's assessment units, whom the site inspector can draw upon for in-depth specialist expert advice.
Permission will only be granted for the reactor to return to service if the ORN is satisfied that it is safe to do so. This assessment will include consideration of the timing of further inspections. The specialist inspectors are called onto site to support particular inspections.
I will next meet ONR on 21 February 2019.