The council has blocked publication of reports detailing emergency arrangements for coping with radiation leaks from the Dounreay and Vulcan nuclear facilities in Caithness and from nuclear submarines berthed in Loch Ewe near Ullapool. It says it needs to “retain control” of the reports.
This is despite the fact that other local authorities with nuclear sites in their areas publish their emergency plans for everyone to read. The operators of Dounreay and other nuclear sites also make their plans publicly available.
Councils are required to draw up emergency plans for dealing with accidents at nuclear sites under government Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations (REPPIR). The plans set out how people will be evacuated, anti-radiation pills distributed and contaminated food banned around the sites.
Like other local authorities, Highland Council used to put its REPPIR reports in public libraries and publish them online. But late last year it quietly removed the reports covering Dounreay, Vulcan and Loch Ewe from its website and now refuses to release them.