In response to the UK Chief Nuclear Inspector’s recently commissioned report into the implications of events at Japanese nuclear reactors on existing and new plants in the UK, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne says we must not “rush to judgment”.

The interim report, which was ordered by the Energy Minister in light of the tragic events unfolding in Japan, is to be completed by Dr Mike Weightman by mid May 2011 with the final report due within six months. Both reports will be made public.

“The tragic events in Japan are still unfolding. We should not rush to judgment. It is important that we have the full facts at our disposal. I have asked the Chief Nuclear Inspector for a full report so that the implications for the UK are clear,” said Huhne.

“Safety is and will continue to be the number one priority for existing nuclear sites and for any new power stations. I want to ensure that any lessons learned from Mike Weightman’s report are applied to the UK’s new build programme.” 

Mike Weightman, Chief Nuclear Inspector, who addressed the Nuclear Development Forum said, “This is a difficult time for Japan and we are ready to provide support as necessary. We must establish the facts on these unprecedented events and determine if there are lessons to be learned for the UK, to add to our very robust safety standards and arrangements. My report will be public, independent, evidence based, comprehensive, wide in scope and based on the best technical advice, consulting nationally and internationally with colleagues and organisations who, like us, have the safety and security of people and society uppermost in our minds.”