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The UK’s police, who are guarding the nuclear sites in the country, have said that 130 security breaches at sites have occurred in the past five years, including what has been classed as a ‘medium-risk’ breach incident when the keys to the Hinkley Point gate were lost in November 2013.
The Civil Nuclear Constabulary revealed to the BBC that after the keys to the Hinkley Point gate had been lost, all locks were replaced and the keys were found at the site later.
The missing keys and a theft of a camera from the Sizewell site in Suffolk were the two medium-risk breaches over the past five years. The 130 security breaches also included two incidents classed as ‘high-risk’: an unloaded handgun missing during a training exercise in Surrey, and confidential information shared via a text message to an officer at Sellafield.
The Civil Nuclear Constabulary went on to explain that low-risk breaches were events such as the loss of papers and electronic equipment, as well as windows left open.
The police say they have taken the security issues “extremely seriously”.
When the keys to the Hinkley Point gate were lost in 2013, it would still be another three years before the UK decided to postpone the Hinkley Point C project, taking more time to review it.
Shortly after the UK’s decision, news broke that the Chinese firm involved in Hinkley Point’s construction, CGN, was under investigation in the United States for espionage. The Chinese company and engineering advisor Szuhsiung Ho were indicted on charges of industrial espionage in the United States. The charges relate to alleged attempts to steal nuclear secrets to aid the Chinese nuclear energy program.
The power plant at Hinkley Point, a joint UK-French-Chinese venture, has been at the center of an ongoing debate in the UK over the future of the country’s energy infrastructure, its relations with China, and its place in the world post-Brexit.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.