Risk perception and energy infrastructure

Inquiry status: inquiry concluded, report published, government response published

Shortly after the Science and Technology Committee’s report into Scientific Advice and Evidence in Emergencies was published in March 2011, Japan suffered its worst recorded earthquake, followed by a destructive tsunami. This resulted in several explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi power station and major releases of radioactivity.  In response to the crisis in Japan, the German government announced a measured exit from nuclear power.  In the UK, the Government responded to nuclear safety concerns by commissioning a review of what lessons could be learnt from the Fukushima accident to enhance the safety of the UK nuclear industry.

The Science and Technology Committee conducted an inquiry exploring risk assessment, communication, perception and tolerability in relation to energy infrastructure, focusing on nuclear power.


Terms of reference

Oral evidence (uncorrected)

  • Transcript: 19 March 2012, Charles Hendry MP, Minister of State for Energy, Professor David MacKay, Chief Scientific Adviser, Hergen Haye, Head of New Nuclear, Department of Energy and Climate Change
  • Transcript: Wednesday 1 February 2012, Dr Paul Leinster, Chief Executive, Environment Agency, Dr Jill Meara, Deputy Director of the Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, Health Protection Agency, Geoffrey Podger, Chief Executive, Health and Safety Executive, and Dr Mike Weightman, HM Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations and Executive Head of the Office for Nuclear Regulation
  • Transcript: Wednesday 25 January 2012, Tracey Brown, Managing Director, Sense about Science, Fiona Fox, Director, Science Media Centre, and Mark Henderson, former Science Editor, The Times; Bob Brown, Corporate Director, Sedgemoor District Council, Richard Mayson, Director of Planning and External Affairs for Nuclear New Build, EDF Energy, and Dr Rick Wylie, Executive Director, Applied Policy Sciences Unit, University of Central Lancashire
  • Transcript: Wednesday 18 January 2012, Andrew Bloodworth, Head of Science - Minerals and Waste, British Geological Survey, Professor Nick Pidgeon, Director of Understanding Risk Programme, Cardiff University, and Professor David Spiegelhalter, Royal Statistical Society

Written evidence