Exclusive, 05 October 2012
The EC report assessing the ability of all Europe's 145 reactors to resist extreme events, published yesterday, includes a table in an annex which reveals which reactors in which countries have flaws, or fail to meet good practice.
For the UK, this shows that 19 reactors at nine sites have 108 problems. The sites are Dungeness in Kent, Hartlepool in County Durham, Heysham in Lancashire, Hinkley Point in Somerset, Hunterston in North Ayrshire, Oldbury in South Gloucestershire, Sizewell in Suffolk, Torness in East Lothian and Wylfa in Gwynedd.
According to the EC, the flaws fall mostly into six categories. Emergency operating procedures and "severe accident" management guidelines fail to cover all the plant's possible conditions, though improvements are said to be planned.
In some cases "passive measures to prevent hydrogen explosions in case of severe accident not in place," warns the report. It also says that back-up emergency control rooms are not available, nor are back-up diesel generators "physically separated" from normal generators, or mobile diesel generators.
The pressurised water reactor at Sizewell, a different design from other UK plants, is criticised because "filtered venting systems not in place". All these issues were identified as potential problems after the reactors at Fukushima in Japan were deluged by a tsunami in March last year.