John Large

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John H. Large is a Consulting, Chartered Engineer and analyst primarily known for his work in assessing and reporting upon nuclear safety and nuclear related accidents and incidents.[1] From the mid-1960s until 1986 Large was an academic in Brunel University's School of Engineering, where he undertook research for the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.

As a Consulting Engineer with Large & Associates [1], Large led the nuclear risk assessment team for the raising of the damaged Russian nuclear submarine Kursk, which assessed the nuclear hazards and defined the limits and conditions under which the lift and recovery of the submarine in 2001 took place.[2] Also, he advised the Government of Gibraltar on nuclear safety aspects of the repairs being undertaken to the nuclear propulsion reactor on board HMS Tireless throughout 2000,[3] he investigated the adequacy of emergency planning in the event of a nuclear-powered submarine radiation incident whilst berthed in the UK port of Southampton,[4] and he released an updated review following the retrieval of classified documents relating to the risks and hazards of nuclear-powered submarines berthing at Southampton and elsewhere in the United Kingdom.[5]

Large has been critical of the nuclear power industry, and has been commissioned in the past by Greenpeace and other national and international NGOs to provide technical analysis on nuclear issues.[6][7][8] In 2003 a paper Large submitted for publication to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers about the danger of a terrorist attack on UK nuclear installations was suppressed on the advice of the UK government.[9]

In March 2011, he appeared on Al Jazeera English, Sky News, Channel 4 and BBC News[10][11] and ITN[12] giving his assessment that the Fukushima Dai-ichi reactor containment had been compromised in the hydrogen explosions, leading to a dangerous release of radiation. This contradicted information released both by the operators and by the Japanese Government.[13] On 23 March 2011 John Large appeared at the ALDE Group Open Hearing at the European Parliament with an Intervention[14] that strongly challenged the proposals of the European Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger to review the European Community nuclear safety requirements following the radiological incidents at Fukushima.[15] More recently (2015) Large provided opinion and evidence in an ongoing civil action in Japan contesting the restart of the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant[16] and he prepared an assessment of the effectiveness of the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) recently introduced guide for the evaluation of nuclear power plant sites with respect to the potential affects of volcanic effects, specifically aligning this to the Sendai NPP presently proposed for restart following a four-year shut down in the aftermath of Fukushima Daiichi.[17]

Large has been invited by the Chief Nuclear Inspector of UK Office for Nuclear Regulation to join the Technical Advisory Panel working on the ONR's assessment of the implications for the UK nuclear Industry of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident, although following failure to negotiate terms and conditions for the appointment he opted out of the appointment.[18] Instead, instructed by Greenpeace Germany and Greenpeace France, Large prepared a critical review of the preliminary report of the IAEA Fact Finding Mission undertaken to Fukushima Dai-ichi in May 2011.[19][15]

Throughout 2013 Large advised Friends of the Earth on the engineering and technical aspects of the Southern California Edison San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station at which Units 2 and 3 are presently shut down because of faults in the steam generators. Large has prepared written evidence,[20][21] to the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in which he explores reasons for the extensive tube wear and damage in the San Onofre steam generators and whether the nuclear plant should be permitted to restart operation. Friends of the Earth submitted a Review[22] by Large to the NRC Petition Review Board under the 2.260 Petition Process seeking a hearing relating to the de facto License Amendment process. In June 2013 Southern California Edison announced that both San Onofre nuclear reactors would not be restarted and that plants would be permanently shut down and decommissioned.

In November 2014, following a spate of overflights of French nuclear power plants by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), Large provided evidence to the French Parliament in the open session of l'Office Parlementaire d'Evaluation des Choix Scientifiques et Technologies (l'OPECST), both by spoken intervention relating the vulnerabilities of French NPPs to drone intrusion - the Large & Associates assessment and report on the drone activity, commissioned by Greenpeace France remains confidential although it has aroused considerable media speculation.[23]

Large is frequently interviewed or quoted in the media.[24][25]

John Large is an experienced apiarist and in his spare time he manages the apiary at the Oxleas Wood Apiary in South London. Throughout its restoration, John Large acted as the Technical Advisor to the Trustees of the Severndroog Castle Building Preservation Trust with the present reinstatement of this 18C folly located at Shooters Hill in South-East London.



  1. ^ "John Large". Expert Search. Archived from the original on 2006-07-23. Retrieved 2006-07-23. 
  2. ^ "Raising the Kursk page". Institution of Mechanical Engineers - West Cumbria Area. September 2003. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  3. ^ John H. Large (March 2005). "Forensic Assessments of the Nuclear Propulsion Plants of the Submarines HMS Tireless and RF Northern Fleet Kursk" (PDF). Institution of Mechanical Engineers seminar: Forensic Investigation of Power Plant Failures. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  4. ^ John H. Large (November 2009). "Review of SotonSafe Off-Site Emergency Plan (REPPIR) relating to the Berthing of Nuclear Power Submarines at Southampton Docks" (PDF). SCANS. Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  5. ^ John H. Large (November 2010). "A Brief Review of Information Obtained via Freedom of Information Act 2000 Request Relating to the Berthing of Royal Navy Nuclear Powered Submarines at Southampton, 26 October 2010" (PDF). SCANS. Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  6. ^ John H. Large (2004). "Video and Other Material and Data acquired by Greenpeace International at and around the Iraq Tuwaitha Nuclear Site During 2003" (PDF). Greenpeace. Retrieved 2006-07-23. 
  7. ^ "Expert: nuclear facilities are vulnerable to intelligent intentional attacks". Russia Today. 21 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  8. ^ Peter Millar (11 March 2007). "Official secrecy is back on the rise". London: The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  9. ^ Paul Brown (17 January 2003). "The threat that's bigger than ricin". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  10. ^ "John Large speculates on the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant explosion". BBC News. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  11. ^ "Expert assessment on radiation leak 14 March 2011 - 18.35GMT". BBC News. Retrieved 14 March 2011. 
  12. ^ "Meltdown threat: Japan 'preparing for worst'". ITN. Retrieved 14 March 2011. 
  13. ^ "see TEPCO-NISA daily press releases from 12 March 2011". 
  14. ^ "Nuclear Safety and Nuclear Policy after Fukushima Daiichi, Implications for the World-Wide Nuclear Regulatory Regimes - Specific Application to Europe page" (PDF). European Parliament, Brussels. 23 March 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2011. 
  15. ^ a b "TEPCO Plan to Flood the Primary Containment of Unit 1, Fukushima Dai-ichi" (PDF). Greenpeace Germany. 10 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-10. 
  16. ^ "The Assessment Guide of Volcanic Effects of Nuclear Power Plants compared with the International Atomic Energy Agency's Volcanic Hazards Evaluation for Nuclear Installations, SSG-21, 2012" (PDF). Greenpeace Germany. 28 January 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  17. ^ "Implications of Tephra Ash Fall Out on the Operational Safety of Sendai Nuclear Power Plants" (PDF). Greenpeace Germany. 26 February 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  18. ^ "ONR Letter" (PDF). Office of Nuclear Regulation. 13 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-01. 
  19. ^ "Review of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Preliminary Summary of its Fact Finding Expert Mission to Japan of 24 May to 1 June 2011" (PDF). Greenpeace France. 6 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  20. ^ "In the Matter of Southern California Edison Company, San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station, Units 2 and 3, Response to Atomic Safety and Licensing Board's Factual Issues, 1st Affidavit of John Large" (PDF). 22 January 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  21. ^ "In the Matter of Southern California Edison Company, San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station, Units 2 and 3, Comments on the NRC and SCE Responses of January 30, 2013, 2nd Affidavit of John Large," (PDF). 14 February 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  22. ^ "Review of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and other Documents Relating to the Procurement and Design of the San Onofre Replacement Steam Generators" (PDF). 27 March 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  23. ^ "CE QU'IL FAUT SAVOIR DES DRONES UTILISÉS". Paris Match. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  24. ^ "Profile: John Large". New Civil Engineer. 24 January 2002. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  25. ^ "News Snippets". Large and Associates. Retrieved 2009-07-03.