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Energy Act 2013

Section 71: Notice by Secretary of State to ONR specifying sensitive nuclear information

361.This section relates to one of the areas of the ONR’s nuclear security purposes, namely ensuring the security of sensitive nuclear information in the United Kingdom. “Sensitive nuclear information” is principally defined in subsection (3) of section 70 as information relating to, or capable of use in connection with, the enrichment of uranium i.e. the treatment of uranium that increases the proportion of isotope 235 contained in it (isotope 235 is fissile and can be used in the production of a nuclear weapon).

362.This section permits the Secretary of State, by notice to the ONR, to expand on the definition of “sensitive nuclear information” in connection with activities relating to nuclear premises, and thus also expand the purpose of the ONR in ensuring the security of such information. However, the power can only be exercised where the Secretary of State considers information should be protected in the interests of national security (see subsection (1)), and the Secretary of State must consult the ONR before issuing such a notice. This is to ensure that the ONR’s civil nuclear security expertise is fed into any additional definition of sensitive nuclear information.

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