- The consultation was launched before Fukushima.
- It is not reasonable to carry on with a 'business as usual' approach to nuclear power here given what has happened in Japan.
- It is not very often that nuclear insurance laws come up for review, events in Japan make it all the more important to stop now and reconsider nuclear insurance rather than pushing ahead with outdated proposals.
The consultation needs to be halted. It is not possible to continue with a 'business as usual' approach for the nuclear industry in the UK since the events at Fukushima. The Government is reviewing nuclear safety in the UK because of the situation in Japan, but there is no proper review of the financial implications - for the taxpayer, local authorities and emergency services. This is surely a mistake?
A revised consultation re insurance and areas of claim is needed once a detailed picture of the extent of the financial impact of Fukushima is known. Already there is talk in Japan of the government having to take over Tepco. We should stop now and reassess the proposals on insurance cover etc to see if they are fit for the coming decades. Haste now would be a mistake.
It also seems the consultation is going ahead without any stakeholder events or engagement with communities. In addition there is also a potential problem regarding the time given for organisations to respond. Have, for example, all emergency services and other relevant organisations with legal responsibility to respond to an accident been able to consider the current consultation?
In view of all this I strongly recommend that this consultation be halted.
Cllr Philip Booth
Main consultation document - Paris and Brussels Conventions on nuclear third party liability - A Public Consultation: http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/Consultations/paris-brussels-convention-changes/1182-cons-implement-changes-paris-brussels.pdf