21 Apr 11

EDF Energy statement clarifying the facts in response to media coverage regarding Torness and Hartlepool power stations

There was media coverage today whcih implied that there were serious events at EDF Energy’s Torness and Hartlepool power stations. In fact, both events were extremely minor in nature and local communities’ around both stations were advised of the events very quickly. The following statement by EDF Energy outlines the facts of the situation.

“Safety is always our number one priority and all of our plants, including Torness and Hartlepool, have good safety records. We always report low scale events so that they can be dealt with efficiently and prevent development of anything more serious. There has never been an event higher than INES level 2 at any of EDF Energy's nuclear power stations.

“On 21 February Torness power station reported an event to our regulator, the then Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII). During routine sampling, we detected abnormal readings in water in one borehole. The readings were extremely low – one would have to drink one tonne of the fluid found to receive a dose equal to thirty minutes flying time in an aeroplane. Through our policy of openness and transparency, as well as notifying our regulator, we wrote to members of our Local Liaison Committee, informing them of the findings.

“At Hartlepool power station, testing of the back up cooling system revealed that a common suction valve to some cooling pumps was only partially open and that the indication in the Control room was not showing the true position of the valve. It is believed the valve misalignment occurred following earlier maintenance. This plant configuration is outside of our station operating procedures, however it was corrected as soon as it was identified.

“In both cases, there was never any danger to staff, plant or the public.”