Safety concerns overnuclear power plant

DUNGENESS B nuclear power station is not safe in the hands of EDF says Green MEP Keith Taylor.

Thursday, 12th June 2014, 11:54 am

EDF has applied to the Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR) to relax a key safety requirement at Dungeness B.

The changes would allow an increased weight loss of the graphite bricks inside the reactor from 6.2% to 8%.

The bricks, which degrade over time due to radiation, are vital for safety.

Keith Taylor, a Green MEP for Kent and South East England, said:

“It’s highly worrying that EDF are attempting to lower a key safety standard at Dungeness B in order to prolong the life of the reactor.

Safety limits are there for a reason, and re-writing these simply to keep the reactor online for another few years suggests that EDF think profits are more important than safety. Dungeness is out dated, and needs to be decommissioned as soon as possible to make way for safe jobs in renewable energy production.

The power plant has had a number of unplanned shutdowns in recent months due to safety concerns, and one of these closures - which lasted five months - was kept hidden from the public by EDF. This lack of transparency is deeply concerning.

It is clear to me that Dungeness B is not safe in the hands of EDF, and should be decommissioned.

“It’s time the Government dropped its obsession with nuclear energy. Nuclear is not necessary, it’s not sustainable, it’s not economically viable and it’s not safe.

“Nuclear is a dangerous distraction from the truly ambitious energy policy we need – one which focuses on renewable energy and energy efficiency, and which would deliver more jobs, faster carbon reductions and a fundamentally more democratic energy system fit for the future.”

Dungeness Station boss Martin Pearson said: “We have stringent safety requirements. We carry out regular inspections including of the graphite bricks that are part of the cores of the reactors.”