ACCIDENT reports and safety reviews into nuclear weapons and atomic energy programmes in Scotland are among hundreds of documents to have been suddenly withdrawn from public view.

According to a report on the Sunday Post website, following a "security review" the files at the National Archives in Kew were removed so that they can no longer be accessed by the public.

The move has been described as "very concerning" by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

The documents relate to a range of topics on Britain’s nuclear weapons and atomic energy programmes, including the nuclear power plant in Dounreay, Caithness, as well as Chapelcross in Dumfries and Galloway and the Hunterston A and Hunterston B power stations which are located in Ayrshire.

It is not entirely clear why the files have been removed.

All that is known at this point is that Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) ordered a security review and that a decision will be made on whether or not the documents should remain public.

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“The NDA, Ministry of Defence and the Atomic Weapons Establishment are jointly undertaking a security review to ensure that it is appropriate for the records to remain in the public domain," a spokesperson said.

The NDA has indicated that the "vast majority" files will be made public again, according to the report.

“Just before Christmas all the files were withdrawn from the National Archive without any explanation or communication," said Jon Agar, professor of science and technology studies at University College London

“It was replaced with a message that if you need to see this, you have to put in an FOI request.

“Almost everything we would want to know on the public record which allows us to trace the history of nuclear establishments across the country have been essentially withdrawn from public sight.

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Agar added that the files often contain technical information and that it may be that the NDS has "lost confidence in their review process".

Ian Chamberlain of CND described the withdrawal of the files as “very concerning”.

“It seems that even if this archive is made public again parts of it will continue to be withheld, but a crucial part of the democratic process is to learn from past mistakes,” he said..