14 Jul 15

EDF Energy completes plan of safety enhancements following Fukushima

EDF Energy has successfully completed a series of enhancements at its nuclear stations following the events in Japan in 2011 - within the time agreed with its regulator and on budget.

A thorough review of the UK’s nuclear power sector following the events at Fukushima by the Chief Nuclear Inspector Dr Mike Weightman found that UK facilities had "no fundamental weaknesses."

Dr Weightman made a number of recommendations to further enhance safety and resilience and EDF Energy immediately started a plan to meet these recommendations at its eight nuclear power stations.

This included additional training for key technical staff, enhancements to backup equipment for cooling systems, and emergency command and control facilities.

A key part of the enhancements included a new Emergency Response Centre near Sizewell B which provides robust back-up for the multiple safety systems already in place at the station.

As the only Pressurised Water Reactor operating in the UK, Sizewell B has a dedicated ERC in response to a recommendation of the Office for Nuclear Regulation to further enhance safety margins. EDF Energy has created three regional facilities to service its other nuclear power stations which use a different technology

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.

“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.

Although this work programme 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."

The Japanese Earthquake Response Programme's final report to the ONR can be read here

For more information contact:

EDF Energy Media
Media Relations Team
01452 652233

Sue Fletcher
Senior Media Manager (Generation)
01452 653267
07736 727964

EDF Energy

EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and the largest producer of low-carbon electricity, producing around one-fifth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations and combined heat and power plants. The company supplies gas and electricity to 6 million business and residential customer accounts and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain.

EDF Energy’s safe and secure operation of its eight existing nuclear power stations at sites across the country makes it the UK’s largest generator of low carbon electricity. EDF Energy is also leading the UK's nuclear renaissance and has published plans to build four new nuclear plants, subject to the right investment framework.

These new plants could generate enough low carbon electricity for about 40% of Britain’s homes. They would make an important contribution to the UK’s future needs for clean, secure and affordable energy. The project is already creating business and job opportunities for British companies and workers.

Through Our Better Energy Ambitions, EDF Energy has developed one of the biggest environmental and social programmes of any British energy company.

In 2014 EDF Energy received seven ‘Big Ticks’ in the Business in the Community (BITC) Responsible Business Awards. In 2013 EDF Energy received the Environmental Leadership for Behavioural Change Award in the national Environment and Energy Awards and was highly commended in the first ever pan European Corporate Social Responsibility Awards scheme for its Sustainable Schools programme – the Pod.

EDF Energy is part of EDF Group, one of Europe’s largest power companies. The company employs around 15,000 people at locations across the UK.

To find out more about the UK's energy challenges look at www.edfenergy.com/energyfuture/