Nuclear Plant Fires: is there a culture of complacency?


Following a spate of fires and the identification of safety shortcomings at British nuclear plants the Celtic League have asked the UK nuclear safety watchdog if there is a `culture of complacency’:

“Mike Weightman
HM Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations
and Director, Nuclear Directorate
4N.2 Redgrave Court
Merton Road
L20 7HS


Dear Mr Weightman,

In correspondence to the Celtic League in July 2009 David Simister HMI (Nuclear Installations) advised that “any occurrence of fire on a nuclear site has the potential for serious consequences”.

Given that fire safety appears to be paramount in relation to nuclear site safety it is disturbing that a fire occurred at Heysham nuclear plant in May of this year and another occurred at Hartlepool the previous month. Given these successive incidents can we ask if you believe fire safety precautions at UK nuclear plants are fit for purpose?

Given that an investigation in 2012 revealed ” a number of shortfalls” in the capability of Sellafield Fire and Rescue and that other allegations about fire safety risks at Hunterston were articulated that year by a former fire safety officer are fire safety problems ay UK nuclear facilities endemic?

Surely a rash of fires at nuclear plants coming hard on the heels of the Sellafield revelations indicates a culture of complacency?

For information can you advise how many fire alarms and fire safety failures have been identified at UK plants over the past decade?

Yours sincerely,

J B Moffatt (Mr)

Director of Information
Celtic League”


J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information


For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact:

General Secretary, Celtic League:

The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query.


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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