Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has raised concerns over news that the Nuclear Safety Advisory Committee (NuSAC) has been disbanded by the UK Government.
The group which was made up of unpaid scientists, academics and trade unionists offered independent advice on nuclear safety issues to the Health and Safety Executive has been shut down with no replacement.
Mr Gibson said...
"This move is counter intuitive. It happens right in the middle of the a new push from the UK government for new nuclear and also in the middle of Dounreay decommissioning. Indeed recent criticism of the committee related to funding for decommissioning and nuclear waste management."
"The decision to disband NuSAC board is wrong headed and retrograde step which was done in a secretive way which will cause more uncertainty and potentially lead to greater dangers in the nuclear industry."
"What is important is that there is an independent watchdog for the nuclear industry pointing out where things are going wrong. The Committee carried out that role."
"Decommissioning at Dounreay needs to be fully funded so that the excellent staff are paid the wages they deserve. NuSAC already raised concerns about the amount of funding for decommissioning I hope that it does not mean that Dounreay will suffer."
Mr Gibson said that he will work with his colleagues in Westminster on the issue and has already written to Energy Minister Jim Mather to seek his views on the matter.