A third of post-Fukushima work still to be done in UK

2 November 2012

About a third (32%) of actions required by a post-Fukushima review still need further work, according to a report by the UK nuclear regulator.

That statistic comes from a summary of the total number of recommendations and stress test findings from the regulator and proposals from industry. It also found that 53% of nuclear licencees’ work is in accord with the regulator’s expectations, and 15% is broadly in line with the regulator’s expectations, but potential improvements are still under discussion.

In the report, which the UK regulator expects to be its last specifically focusing on Fukushima, it was generally positive about the favourable response to act and progress of actions from stakeholders.

Still, it said that it would push for industry to complete the ‘more significant’ improvements by the end of 2014, although it said it would allow particularly the Sellafield site some leeway, due to lack of funding and presence of other competing priorities.

It said that EDF is planning to install passive autocatalytic recombiners to safely remove hydrogen produced in a severe accident, in 2013, and that work to install a filtered containment ventilation system is underway.

It said that EDF has committed to providing a range of back-up emergency equipment stored in regional AGR depots and a Sizewell B emergency response centre to be built by the end of 2013.

According to the report, the depots will contain: off-road vehicles, debris-moving equipment, personal protective equipment, electricity generators, water pumps (for reactor and fuel cooling), reverse-osmosis equipment to supply clean water, damage-repair equipment, dewatering pumps, wastewater treatment facilities, temporary structures for response coordination/staff welfare; mobile communications equipment, inert gas supplies, and ancillary equipment, including fuel stocks.

It said that Magnox has increased on-site supply of CO2 and fuel stocks, and built a new diverse pond water emergency filling line at Oldbury (and one is planned at Sizewell A), provided backup feedwater/fire pumps on site, and purchased a water tanker to transport water from a nearby fresh water site (Oldbury), among other developments.

It said that at Sellafield there have been developments as well, including improvements to the emergency cooling water systems in the highly-active liquor evaporation and storage facilities, a new diesel power generator and lighting tower at the legacy ponds and silos facilities, and improvements to existing emergency electrical supply systems in infrastructure facilities.

The regulator’s staff have recorded almost 6,000 man days against work associated with compiling and monitoring progress on the outcomes of the three separate reports published by ONR since the Fukushima Daiichi event in March 2011.

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