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Nuclear safety review satisfied with power station procedures

EDF Energy's Sizewell B power plant

EDF Energy's Sizewell B power plant

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Nuclear industry monitors have endorsed safety procedures at Suffolk’s Sizewell B power plant.

A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) concluded that the station was well prepared in the event of an emergency.

The publication follows a three-week review last October by an operational safety team made up of 15 experts from the UK, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Russia, South Africa and the United States.

After assessing safety at the plant operated by EDF Energy on the Suffolk coast near Leiston, the team decided that processes were well developed and documented to ensure emergency exercises covered all situations that could arise during emergencies.

The report commended the station’s prompt delivery of training on important nuclear leadership principles and behaviour.

It said the station’s compliance with periodic safety reviews – carried out every 10 years at all nuclear power stations in the UK was both ‘comprehensive’ and ‘rigorous’.

Among recommendations, the report advised bosses to continue reviewing and updating severe accident management procedures across all plant areas and conditions, incorporating experience from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.

EDF Energy’s head of generation business, Stuart Crooks said: “We are passionate about continuously learning and driving to achieve even higher standards across our nuclear power stations.

“An important way of achieving this is through regular in-depth reviews involving international experts.

“The three-week review at Sizewell B enabled a thorough assessment of operational safety at the station, helping to ensure that IAEA safety standards are met and good practices shared across the world.

“The report highlights many strengths at the power station including the training of employees, the rigorous approach to safety reviews, and also emergency training preparedness.

“Importantly, the report also gave advice on areas where we could improve further. We will address these areas and invite the IAEA back to review our progress.”

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