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Sat April 13 2024

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Nuclear regulator prosecutes EDF

20 Feb The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has notified EDF and one of its contractors that they will be prosecuted for safety breaches.

Dungeness B power station
Dungeness B power station

The charges relate to an incident on 13th June 2022 at Dungeness B power station in Kent, where a contractor sustained foot injuries while working in the vicinity of the main cooling water discharge valves.

The first hearing against EDF Energy and Trillium Flow Services Ltd is scheduled to take place at Folkestone Magistrates Court on 19th March 2024.

The incident was a conventional health and safety matter, and there was no radiological risk to the public. However, the prosecution notice comes in the same month that the Office for Nuclear Regulation has served two improvement notices on EDF Energy for its management of nuclear power stations.

On 9th February the ONR served an improvement notice on EDF following another incident at Dungeness B that saw an employee suffer an electric shock from a portable heater while undertaking maintenance work last November.

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In that instance, EDF had failed to ensure the electrical systems were constructed and maintained in a way that prevented danger to their workers, so far as is reasonably practicable.

The following week, on 14th February, the ONR served another improvement notice on following a steam leak on 23rd December at Heysham 1 power station in Lancashire. A valve controlling the flow of superheated steam failed while Reactor 1 was being returned to service. No one was injured and there was no risk to nuclear safety, the public or the environment but ONR identified the potential for serious personal injury, had anyone been near the valve.

Once again, as at Dungeness, maintenance procedures at Heysham were found to be lacking.

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