New measures will safeguard nuclear station

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A delivery of rock-armour will help protect Dungeness B power station from the sea if severe weather hits.

The giant boulders are being placed between the power station and the existing shingle bank in front of the station, to provide additional support to the shingle bank in the event of a severe storm.

The rock armour installation completes the investment in flood defences at Dungeness B Power Station.

The works began in 2013 and are to upgrade the existing flooding defences to cover more extreme weather events which are very unlikely to happen but need to be planned for nonetheless.

Martin Pearson, Dungeness B station director, said: “We are continually investing in Dungeness B in order to continue to generate low carbon power for Kent.

“The site has many existing layers of protection against flooding and has always been protected against storms.

The rock armour and other enhancements to our existing defences will help protect us against even more severe weather events that are statistically very unlikely to occur.

“We’ve invested over £5 million including £2 million on a concrete flood defence wall which spans the perimeter of the station.”

Safety officials from EDF visited Japan in the wake of the Fukushima power station disaster to see what lessons could be learned from the incident.

As well as generating enough power to serve some 1.5million homes in this region the company also provides gas and electricity to 730,000 customers with over 20% of those opting for one of the company’s Blue+ products which are backed by low-carbon generation.

Last year the Office for Nuclear Regulation approved the limit of graphite weight loss at Dungeness B to 8 percent which could possibly extend the life of the power station.

Juliette Sanders, from EDF, said: “EDF Energy remains focused on achieving a ten-year life extension for Dungeness B.

“To ensure that safety margins continue to be sufficient, we have developed a programme of modifications which will feed in to the plant lifetime extension proposals and enable safe operation to 2028.

“The two advanced gas-cooled reactors at Dungeness B are made up of thousands of graphite bricks. This graphite core acts as a moderator – something that slows down fast neutrons sustaining the nuclear reaction.”