EDF Energy Pressed For More Post-Fukushima Enhancements

Sizewell B

With EDF Energy publishing its Japanese Earthquake Response Programme ONR Recommendation Closeout Report in mid-June, concerning nuclear plant safety enhancements in Britain, it turns out the Office of Nuclear Regulation wants more from the company.

The Closeout Report documents three years of work that is the direct result and response to the March 2011 International Nuclear Event Scale 7 “Major accident,” at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on the East Coast of Japan, EDF Energy's report says.

The response in Britain entailed gearing up for “extremely unlikely but severe natural hazards,” that could strike its British fleet of eight nuclear power stations comprised of 15 reactors in the country that have a combined 9,000 megawatt capacity.

With Fukushima Daiichi providing the motivation, EDF Energy responded with an extensive program of resilience enhancements that included “a large quantity of Deployable Back-Up Equipment that is in a continuous state of readiness with emergency responders trained and procedures developed,” the introduction to the 200-page report says.

Only a month after the report’s releases, the EBR (Energy Business Review) reports that the British regulator has already asked for a few more enhancements.

The recommendations include additional staff training for technical staff, more backup equipment and facilities dedicated to emergency command and management.

An Emergency Response Center for EDF’s only Pressurized Water Reactor in Britain, Sizewell B, was part of the recommendations, as EDF Energy has already established three regional emergency response centers focused on its other seven plants.

EDF Energy's Hinkley Point B in Somerset, Heysham 1 and Heysham 2 in Lancashire, Dungeness B in Kent, Hartlepool in Teesside, Hunterston B in Ayrshire and Torness in Lothian are all Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactors.

“Although this work program has been successfully completed and validated by the Office for Nuclear Regulation, we will continue to learn and ensure we achieve safe reliable generation of low carbon electricity over the life of our nuclear stations," EBR quoted EDF Energy Business Managing Director Stuart Crooks as saying.

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