Safety experts give thumbs up to Sizewell B

Sizewell B at Leiston. Picture: EDF ENERGY

Sizewell B at Leiston. Picture: EDF ENERGY - Credit: Archant

International safety experts have given the thumbs up to Sizewell B nuclear power station following a three week review.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which looked at operational safety at the plant in April 2017 as a follow-up to a previous visit in October 2015, praised the station’s “strong safety commitment”.

During the original Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) mission, the team said performance was good at Sizewell B and submitted proposals to operators EDF Energy for further improvements.

During the follow-up visit, it concluded that all of the recommendations and suggestions had been completed or satisfactorily progressed and the mission was successful.

It concluded that 47% of the issues were fully resolved, and said 53% had achieved satisfactory progress.

The team, which included members from Brazil, Canada, USA, Russia and France, said the plant, based at Leiston, had taken “very comprehensive” actions to review its approach to severe accident management.

“Throughout the review, the exchange of information between the OSART experts and station personnel was very open, professional and productive. Emphasis was placed on assessing the effectiveness of operational safety rather than simply the content of programmes,” the team’s report said.

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“The willingness and motivation of station management to use benchmarking with other nuclear power plants, consider new ideas and look for improvement was evident and is a clear indicator of the station’s strong safety commitment.”

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy welcomed the follow-up report and congratulated Sizewell B on the number of good practices identified.

Mark Gorry, EDF Energy’s chief nuclear officer, said: “The nuclear industry welcomes scrutiny and we are proud to receive confirmation from the International Atomic Energy Agency that their review of Sizewell B has been successful.”

The review at Sizewell B covered leadership and management for safety, training, operations, radiation protection, technical support, chemistry, operating experience, emergency preparedness, maintenance and accident management.