Saturday, 18 February 2012

Nuclear Secrets

Published: 17th February 2012

A HEALTH and safety boss has lost a secret report on a nuclear power station — that could find its way into the hands of terrorists.

The extraordinary blunder is a deep embarrassment to the Government — with the PM planning to talk up nuclear safety TODAY.
The "stress test" report into weaknesses at the Hartlepool plant was illicitly downloaded on to a USB memory stick and then mislaid while the official was at a nuclear conference in India.
It contained sensitive technical details and maps of the power station.
The loss was considered so serious that ministers were immediately informed.
The culprit was a senior inspector at the Health and Safety Executive, working for one of its agencies, the Office for Nuclear Regulation. Last night an ONR spokesman said: "The use of unencrypted USB pen drives is not permitted by ONR for transporting documents with a security classification."
Action has been taken against the inspector but last night the Health and Safety Executive refused to say whether he was still employed by them.

'Stress test' ... Hartlepool nuclear power station
'Stress test' ... Hartlepool nuclear power station
Shadow energy and climate change secretary Caroline Flint said: "The safety of the UK's nuclear industry is of paramount importance. It is extremely disturbing that sensitive information about a UK nuclear power station has been lost overseas. I will be urgently writing to the Energy Secretary to get answers."
The latest in a series of data loss blunders is revealed as David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy share a platform in Paris today to champion nuclear power to Europe's doubters.

Concerned ... Caroline Flint
Concerned ... Caroline Flint
At the Anglo-French summit, they will announce how their governments will work together on civil nuclear projects and safety initiatives. But in a further shaming for British diplomats in Paris, the Hartlepool plant is owned by FRENCH firm EDF.
All of Britain's ten operating nuclear power stations were ordered to carry out the urgent safety tests following the Fukushima disaster in Japan 11 months ago. Hartlepool is one of the biggest.
Last night an EDF spokeswoman said any safety or security concerns sparked by the data stick loss were not "significant".
The ONR also insisted the stick had no "significantly" sensitive information on it. But officials confirmed the full report — later published in redacted form — is not the sort of thing they want in the public domain.