Friday, August 08, 2008

NDA right to withhold draft papers on radioactive waste storage methods

ICO press release
8 August 2008
"The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has ruled that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) was right to refuse a request, under the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR), for the draft report into potential areas of radioactive waste storage measures in the UK.
The Assistant Information Commissioner believes there is a stronger public interest in maintaining the exception and therefore withholding the requested material than in disclosing it. The draft report represents a dated review of the NDA's position and disclosure would be likely to lead to researchers being less willing to be open and honest in such papers, meaning that policy formulation in areas of scientific research other than radioactive waste storage may also be harmed which could undermine the effectiveness of future reports.

In the view of the Assistant Commissioner, the draft report contains personal views of the particular author, rather than the official position of the NDA, on the status of radioactive waste disposal and should not be released. In general, the ICO does not normally accept that civil servants would be easily deterred from offering candid opinions through fear of disclosure."

Full press release.

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