Nuclear advisers under pressure to quit after conflicts revealed

A A A

A third of the members of an important government nuclear committee have serious conflicts of interests, an Independent on Sunday investigation reveals today.

A third of the members of an important government nuclear committee have serious conflicts of interests, an Independent on Sunday investigation reveals today.

Four of the committee's 12 members work for its largest suppliers, The IoS has learnt. One former government minister said this breached the code of conduct on public committees and urged them to resign.

The Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) has a £4.9m budget and a brief to advise the Government on the best way to store Britain's 470,000 cubic metres of nuclear waste; it is due to report by summer 2006.

The publicly funded committee will play a central role in the debate over whether to build new nuclear reactors. Ministers recognise that to gain public support for a pro-nuclear policy, they first have to resolve the problem of what to do with existing nuclear waste. This is currently stored in 30 temporary locations around the country.

But the revelations about its members' conflicts of interest will dent public trust.

Committee member Mark Dutton is a paid consultant for NNC, which won the £1m contract to project-manage CoRWM's work. The committee disclosed the NNC contract, and Mr Dutton's links to the consultancy, but some members say he should have cut all ties to it.

Fred Barker, another member, is an associate consultant for Enviros Consulting, which has a contract worth £50,000 to £100,000 from the committee. He has also been employed by The Environment Council, to which the committee has given over £100,000 of work.

Professor Lynda Warren is an associate of the IDM consultancy, as is another member, Pete Wilkinson, a former chairman of Greenpeace UK. IDM has carried out £10,000 to £50,000 of work for CoRWM.

Organisations employing Mr Barker, Professor Warren and Mr Wilkinson are understood to have bid for the £1m project won by NNC. None of their links to the committee's suppliers have been publicly declared.

Michael Meacher MP, the former environment minister, said: "They should either step down or be asked to leave. I find it disturbing that people who have employment relationships with the industry should sit on an industry committee and then award large contracts to companies they are connected to."

But Gordon MacKerron, the committee's chairman, said there would be no resignations. Potential conflicts of interest were "inevitable" on a technical committee, he said, and he denied that they affected decisions.

NNC was appointed by the Department for the Environment, he said, and the other three cases were oversights, "but not an attempt to conceal".

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Sport
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
voices
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
News
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower