New plan to cope with Loch Ewe nuclear accident

Highland Council have published a new safety plan in the event of a nuclear accident at a Ministry of Defence “Z-berth” mooring for submarines in Loch Ewe, Wester Ross.

At the insistence of the Office of Nuclear Regulation, the council extended the “detailed emergency planning zone” to include properties in the village of Aultbea and “cultivated farm land” on the Isle of Ewe and the NATO fuel depot.

The council’s new Loch Ewe Nuclear Powered Warship Emergency Response Plan, which was completed in August, added: “In this zone Ministry of Defence advice to the emergency services and local authorities would be to implement shelter and advise the population on the taking of the pre-distributed Potassium Iodate Tablets in a maximum of two adjacent 15º sectors downwind. It would also be appropriate to consider outline contingency planning for evacuation within this zone.

“Contamination of exposed and growing foodstuffs may occur in the downwind sector and may be a hazard beyond 1.5km from the emergency. The contamination is unlikely to build up to significant proportions during the first few hours after the emergency. Food Standards Scotland will provide Food Safety advice to the public and work with the relevant multi-agency partners.”