Security breach at Sizewell

GREENPEACE protesters did breach the inner security barrier at Sizewell B nuclear power station last month, contrary to Government assurances at the time.

GREENPEACE protesters did breach the inner security barrier at Sizewell B nuclear power station last month, contrary to Government assurances at the time.

Energy Minister Brian Wilson has acknowledged that some of the 30 intruders had entered the inner security barrier at Sizewell B during the protest.

But he insisted that none of the "sensitive areas of the plant" were breached and the incursion was accurately assessed at the time not to pose a threat to security.

Greenpeace broke into the plant in January, for the second time in four months, to demonstrate how easy it would be for terrorists to do the same.


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In a Commons statement the next day, junior trade minister Nigel Griffiths said the protesters had not penetrated any of the internal security barriers.

"His statement was made on the basis of the best information available at the time from the nuclear operating company, British Energy,' Mr Wilson said in a written statement today.

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"However, it is now known that although initial reports did not indicate that any sensitive area had been breached at the time of the Greenpeace incursion, a subsequent inspection by the Office for Civil Nuclear Security has established that some of the intruders entered through a door, which amounted to a breach of the Sizewell inner security barrier.

"Further defences within the inner security barrier contained the intruders and I should stress that at no time were any sensitive areas of the plant breached.

"The incursion was accurately assessed at the time not to pose a security threat and the response was measured and appropriate.'

At the time of the break-in, the Prime Minister promised a review of security at the plant.

Mr Wilson said today that the Director of Civil Nuclear Security had implemented a full investigation.

"Immediate remedial action has been taken to prevent a recurrence of this breach of the inner security barrier and other lessons from the incident are being acted on appropriately,' he added.

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