MP wants answers on missing USB stick

HARTLEPOOL MP Iain Wright is demanding reassurances on the safety of the town’s nuclear power plant after a memory stick went missing.

The USB stick containing details of stress tests at the town plant was lost at a nuclear conference in India by a Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) member of staff.

Mr Wright has written to Ed Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, to “express concern and demand answers”.

The Hartlepool MP told the Mail: “People will be concerned about this.

“The first job of any government is to make sure that the safety and security of power stations are not compromised in any way.

“The fact that this memory stick was lost in India does compromise that safety and security.”

He said he wrote to the Government minister “expressing my concerns and demanding answers to questions about why was the information on the memory stick and what has been done to retrieve it”.

Mr Wright also wants answers on whether anything contained on the memory stick is of a sensitive nature and whether it could compromise the safety and security of the power plant.

Yesterday, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) confirmed that a “stress test” report on the plant had been illicitly downloaded on to a USB memory stick and then mislaid. But officials stated its content was not highly sensitive.

The information on the memory stick was all about stress tests which were carried out as part of the UK’s review of all its nuclear power plants in the aftermath of the disaster at the Fukushima plant in March last year.

A spokesman for the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) said: “An ONR member of staff lost an unencrypted USB pen drive containing the licensee’s stress test of a UK nuclear power station, which is a safety assessment of the station.

“It did not contain any significantly sensitive information. At the start of the EC stress test programme, the licensees of all UK nuclear power stations committed to publishing their stress test reports, so most of the findings in this report are now in the public domain.

“The use of unencrypted USB pen drives is not permitted by ONR for transporting documents with a security classification. An internal investigation has been undertaken by ONR.”

A spokesman for EDF Energy, which owns the power station, said: “There was nothing in this report of any significant safety or security concern.

“In fact, the full set of stress test reports have been available on EDF Energy’s website since January.”