The First Three Years of Katmal Limited

LogoOver the three years since I started to work independently I have had some interesting and challenging work and certainly had a good variety. I’ve spent a lot of time on my computer at home revising, updating and restructuring existing documents for customers or writing new ones on a wide range of topics including the application of new technology to emergency response, reviewing and summarising regulation and guidance, proposing new strategies and proposing systems for classifying emergency structures, systems and components. I’ve also done some mathematical modelling in support of ALARP cases for new facilities. The documents I’ve helped to prepare have gone for internal information/discussion, to regulators, to safety committees and to public web-sites.

I’ve sat in client’s basements extracting information from their IT. I’ve worked in clients offices alongside their full time team consulting with their internal responders and writing and managing training exercises. I’ve travelled the length of England and Scotland supporting and documenting workshops with local authorities, emergency responders, government departments and regulators. I’ve attended meetings with regulators, helping customers move projects forward.

I’ve also spent a lot of time keeping up to date with developments around the world and maintaining a Facebook page and a blog about the things that interest me.

I’ve published a book aimed at telling members of the public a bit more than can be fitted into the REPPIR leaflets about what they might be asked to do to protect themselves during a nuclear accident (Shelter, evacuation, stable iodine and food restrictions) and why these work. This is available as a paperback and as a Kindle file. The trickle of sales (approaching 40!) is fun to watch but is not enough to keep my family in comfort. I’ve been considering further books but have not had the discipline to complete a second one yet. I’ve satisfied my ambition to publish a book if not my ambition to publish a bestselling and useful book.

In UK nuclear emergency planning the big concern at the moment seems to me to be the forthcoming revision of REPPIR. The EU BSSD come out in 2013. The Consultation came out a few weeks ago. The regulations are due next year. There are no signs of draft regulations. That timing does not bode well. The consultation document is unclear on many aspects of the new regulations. My developing thoughts on the Consultation are collected in a blog. You are welcome to join the discussion there.

If I were a local authority I would be concerned about the onus to determine the appropriate scope of the plan possibly being placed on my organisation albeit in consultation with others (paragraph 84).

There is a lack of clarity about scoping emergency schemes particularly with regard severe accidents and its application to sites below the REPPIR threshold. Talk of assuming 100% release is surprising to say the least (Table 4).

As a Health Physics professional I’m surprised and disappointed that, even with the resources of a government department, the authors of the consultation cannot clearly articulate what a Constraint or Reference Level is nor give confidence that these terms will be correctly applied in the new regulation (see paragraph 45 for a poor explanation of a Reference Level).

I’m looking forward to getting myself up to speed with the new regulations and will be available to help local authorities, operators, regulators and government departments understand and apply them.

I hope that in the future I will continue to find varied projects to work on across the industry but the life of an independent contractor is a precarious one so this is far from certain. More work welcome, contact


Customer graphic
Some of Katmal Limit’s customers


IAEA Energy, Electricity and Nuclear Power Estimates for the Period up to 2050

The IAEA have just published their Energy, Electricity and Nuclear Power Estimates for the Period up to 2050. These are obtained by looking at all nuclear power reactors in operation, in build and in planning across the world and making best estimate, pessimistic and optimistic estimates of the electricity they might be expected to generate up to 2050.

The highlights reported include:

  • There were 448 operational nuclear power reactors in the world at the end of 2016, with a total net installed power capacity of 391 GW(e).
  • An additional 61 units with a total capacity of 61 GW(e) were under construction.
  • During 2016, ten new nuclear power reactors with a total capacity of 9531 MW(e) were connected to the grid, and three reactors with a total capacity of 1405 MW(e) were retired.
  • In 2016, construction began on three new units that are expected to add a total capacity of 3014 MW(e).
  • Nuclear power accounted for about 11% of total electricity production in 2016.
  • Coal still leads as the major source for electricity generation across the world with natural gas growing.
  • Hydropower and renewables grew to 24.8% in 2016 compared to 11% nuclear electricity production.
  • World energy consumption is expected to increase by 18% by 2030 and by 39% by 2050, at an annual growth rate of about 1%.
  • More than half of the existing nuclear power reactors are over 30 years old and are scheduled to be retired in the coming years.