EDF Energy completes safety upgrades at UK plants

14 July 2015

EDF Energy announced today that it has completed post-Fukushima safety upgrades at its UK nuclear power plants within the time agreed with the regulator and to budget. The upgrades include a new emergency response centre near Sizewell B.

EDF Energy emergency respone centre - 460
Trucks at the new emergency response centre (Image: EDF Energy)

According to the company, "no fundamental weaknesses" were found at the UK's nuclear facilities in a review by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) following the March 2011 accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant.

However, the ONR made a number of recommendations to enhance safety and resilience of the UK facilities. EDF Energy said it immediately started a plan to meet those recommendations at its eight nuclear power plants.

A key part of the enhancements, it said, was establishing a new emergency response centre near the Sizewell B plant, the UK's sole pressurized water reactor. This, EDF Energy said, "provides robust back-up for the multiple safety systems already in place at the station".

The company has also established three regional facilities to service its other nuclear power plants which use a different technology.

The plan also included additional training for key technical staff, enhancements to back-up equipment for cooling systems, and emergency command and control facilities.

Stuart Crooks, managing director of EDF Energy's generation business, said: "In the immediate aftermath of Fukushima we satisfied ourselves and the regulator that our plants were safe to continue operation."

He added, "At the same time we conducted a detailed review to ensure we had learned the lessons from the event and make recommendations to improve our safety margins even more."

Crooks said that EDF Energy will "continue to learn and ensure we achieve safe reliable generation of low-carbon electricity over the life of our nuclear stations."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News