Commissioner rules on nuclear storage information

In March 2006, a journalist requested 11 documents from UKAEA that related to safety working parties and the arrangements for storage of nuclear and fissile materials at Dounreay.

UKAEA provided four documents but withheld seven on the grounds of national security.

The applicant subsequently appealed to the Information Commissioner, whose role is to ensure that public
authorities comply with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

The Information Commissioner has upheld UKAEA\’s argument that it is not in the public interest to release detailed information about how and where nuclear materials are stored.

"Having considered the arguments put forward by UKAEA, the Commissioner finds that the information relates
to national security and that disclosure of the information would adversely affect both national security and public safety," according to a decision notice issued on April 9.

"The Commissioner has considered that the files directly relate to the storage facilities of nuclear
material, details of the building layout and the security arrangements at those sites, the Commissioner
accepts that it is necessary to withhold this information on the basis that disclosure could enable persons to gain access to materials which if used in any of the ways described by UKAEA could have a far reaching impact on the national security of the UK."

Click here to read the decision notice.