7 May 14

An update on the programme of ongoing improvements to the flooding defences at Dungeness B

Dungeness B power station is undertaking a number of improvements to its coastal flooding defences, investing around £5 million so far. The work began in 2013 and is to upgrade the existing flooding defences to cover events that are extremely unlikely to occur in the U.K., ones that might happen only one in every 10,000 years.

Last year the station undertook new modelling to see the effects on the shingle bank in front of the station during hypothetical weather conditions, more extreme than we have ever seen on the Kent coastline.

A scale model of the shingle bank was built and subjected to severe storm conditions. The results from this modelling fed into a programme of improvement works which is now well underway.

Part of these works include the 1.5 m high concrete flood wall which is now complete. It spans 1.3km around the site and cost approximately £2.3 million.

Other coastal flooding work includes sealing cable tunnels and shingle membrane fitting which are also complete.

The next phase of works is a rock armour wall behind the shingle bank, expected to be completed by Winter 2014. This will fully restore the external flooding design basis of the site, providing protection against the 1 in 10,000 year external flood scenarios.

Martin Pearson, station director at Dungeness B said: "The site has many existing layers of protection against flooding and this package of works further enhances those defences to cover extremely unlikely severe weather events. I'm happy to announce the completion of the flood defence wall last month and we will shortly be putting in a planning application for the ’rock armour’ boulder defence which will further protect the sea-facing side of the site. Members of the public are always invited to tour the site where they will see some of the work we have already done."

Rock armour is a widely used form of sea defence. Large boulders of 10 tonnes or more will be placed to the rear of the existing shingle bank.

During a severe storm this would act to stop shingle from moving further back and help to maintain a minimum height of the shingle bank ridge.

Protecting the ridge of the shingle bank would limit waves coming over the top of the bank in extreme weather. This work has been well received by local residents and stakeholders, and local councillors.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) is satisfied that Dungeness B is protected against coastal floods: We keep them well informed of progress and they continue to monitor our work closely.

Anyone keen to find out more about Dungeness B and nuclear power for themselves can visit the Dungeness B visitor centre. The visitor centre will normally be open Monday-Friday from 9-4pm and is open to members of the public.

Visitors will be given an introductory talk about how the station operates, and if booked in advance will be given a guided tour through selected parts of the plant. To book a visit the public can contact the station via: dungenessBtours@edf-energy.com or call 01797 343728.