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The Guardian article - "HSE disbands nuclear body that warned of risks"

Geoffrey Podger, Chief Executive responds

Sir,

Your article (HSE disbands nuclear body that warned of risks, 17 February) implies that HSE's Nuclear Safety Advisory Committee (NuSAC) was wound up because it raised inconvenient issues. In fact, NuSAC had reached the end of its term of office and the HSE Board decided to defer any decision on future arrangements for providing independent technical advice on nuclear safety, pending various reviews. Any decision will need to take account of the arrangements, yet to be finalised, to implement the Stone review of nuclear regulatory arrangements.  The future make-up of any advisory body logically needs to follow on from any resulting adjustments.

In addition the traditional advisory committee structure is not necessarily the only route to providing advice to HSE. Its Nuclear Directorate is staffed by experts, and it calls on many external sources of advice on nuclear safety to supplement them.

The 'unpublicised' NuSAC report to which the article refers has, in fact, been published on the HSE website.

Geoffrey Podger
Chief Executive
Health & Safety Executive

Updated 2013-01-23