Chemical and Nuclear Sites in Cumbria

To ensure that arrangements are in place to deal with the off-site consequences of an incident at the site however unlikely, Cumbria County Council produce an off-site emergency plan. This is a requirement under the Control of Major Accident Hazards 1999 (as amended) - known as COMAH.

All persons and organisations within the Public Information Zone around the site have been issued with information on what to do in the event of an off-site emergency. To view these action cards see below:

Spirit Energy (previously Centrica) - Emergency Action Card (PDF 2.3MB)

Spirit Energy (previously Centrica) - What to do in an emergency booklet (PDF 289KB)

MOD Longtown - Emergency Action Card (PDF 74KB)

MOD Longtown - What to do in an emergency booklet (PDF 939KB)

Under the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2019  Local Authorities must plan for mitigating the consequences of a nuclear off-site emergency.  Engagement has taken place between Cumbria County Council's Resilience Unit and the following operators in Cumbria: 

  • BAE Systems 
  • Low Level Waste Repository Ltd 
  • Sellafield Ltd
  • Cyclife UK Ltd 

A copy of the Site Operators' Consequences' Reports and the Detailed Emergency Planning Zone Determination reports for Sellafield Ltd and BAE Systems are available for the public to view:

These reports include the proposed distance of a Detailed Emergency Planning Zone and/or Outline Planning Zone, if required, around the Site plus appropriate information to enable the Local Authority to prepare an adequate Off-Site Emergency Plan, if required.  

Map showing the Sellafield Ltd Detailed Emergency Planning Zone (ranging from 6.1km-8km from the centre of site):

Map showing the BAE Systems Detailed Emergency Planning Zone:

The Site Operators' Consequences' Report for Low Level Waste Repository Ltd has been assessed and it has been determined that there is no requirement for emergency planning zones for this company.

After Cyclife UK Ltd undertook a hazard assessment it was established that there was no public risk and therefore no requirement for a Consequences' Report or emergency planning zones.


Outline Planning Zone

The Outline Planning Zone is a new factor under the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2019 and additional elements have been considered in order to improve emergency arrangements.  This does not mean that there is now extra risk to the public.

Map showing Sellafield Ltd Outline Planning Zone (50km from the centre of site):

Map showing BAE Systems Outline Planning Zone:

Lancashire County Council has responsibility under the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2019 for Heysham Power Station.  The Outline Planning Zone for this nuclear site is 30km, this means that part of the zone will sit within the Southern part of Cumbria.  Further information and relevant maps.

If you have any questions in relation to the Consequence Reports, planning zones or other associated matters, then please do not hesitate to contact the Resilience Unit at emergency.planning@cumbria.gov.uk

To ensure that arrangements are in place to deal with the off-site consequences of an incident, however unlikely, Cumbria County Council produce an off-site emergency plan. This is a requirement under the Radiation Emergency Preparedness and Public Information Regulation 2019 - known as REPPIR.

All persons and organisations within the Detailed Emergency Planning Zone (DEPZ) around the stations have been issued with information on what to do in the event of an Off-Site Nuclear Emergency:

Information cards for persons and organisations within the Outline Planning Zone (OPZ)

Sellafield Exercises (Site siren may be sounded on these dates)

Wednesday 12 May 2021Level 1 exercise

Sign up for Sellafield warning system, urges County Council

Cumbria County Council is encouraging people living near Sellafield to sign up for a FREE automated telephone warning system. The system provides a warning in the highly unlikely event of an emergency at the Sellafield site and people can register at Telephone Warning System Registration

People living the following villages are eligible:

  • Calder Bridge
  • Haile
  • Ponsonby
  • Wellington
  • Gosforth
  • Drigg
  • Holmrook
  • Seascale
  • Braystones
  • Nethertown
  • Middletown
  • Thornhill
  • Beckermet

If you live in the CA postcodes 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 you may also be eligible for this free and valuable service. In addition you can receive updates via text messages, e-mail and mobile calls on exercises that take place.

The call from the council follows work undertaken by the Office for Nuclear Regulation in January 2014 when they reviewed their process for revising the Detailed Emergency Planning Zones around UK civil nuclear establishments. This revision came from lessons learnt from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant incident in 2011 and has had a considerable impact in how Cumbria County Council, Sellafield Ltd and the emergency services plan for an incident on the west coast.

The size of the emergency planning area differs site by site in the UK, with consideration given to individual factors associated with each site. The Detailed Emergency Planning Zone for Sellafield covers an area ranging from approximately 6km - 8km from the centre of the site.

If you do not have access to the internet you may wish to ask a friend or neighbour to assist or you in signing up for the service.

If you wish to enquire if you are eligible to sign up for the Sellafield Warning and Informing Service or have any other queries please contact Cumbria County Council Resilience Unit