Safety Summary Reveals Fire At Nuclear Plant

The latest statement provided by the Nuclear Installations HMI to the Celtic League indicates that fires at nuclear plants remain problematic (See related earlier Celtic News item on this subject at link below):

https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3135
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3113

The latest report refers to an incident at the Dungeness nuclear power plant and says:

“On 23 November 2009 a fire occurred in the boiler annexe area of Dungeness B Reactor 22. The fire forced the shutdown of the affected reactor. The unaffected reactor on the site was on its periodic shutdown during the event.
The licensee, British Energy Generation Limited, supported by Kent Fire & Rescue Service responded well to the incident. The event gave rise to no injuries and no release of radioactive material.

The incident was not reported in the fourth quarter 2009 statement, but is reported in the statement for the current period for three reasons. First, HSE’s preliminary investigation of the event has now been completed. Second, in
the current quarter the licensee increased the significance of this incident under their arrangements. Finally, on 13 January 2010 during significant safety assessment and safety improvement work undertaken by the licensee in relation to the event, the licensee identified cables in the boiler annexes of both reactors that were insufficiently protected against hot gas release, and challenges safety case requirements. Therefore this outcome is considered to meet the reporting criteria.

In respect of the fire, the Dungeness B Station Director has provided a written undertaking to consult with HSE prior to the return to service of Reactor 22.  Since the other reactor was on periodic shutdown at the time, reactor operation
at Dungeness B could not re-start until HSE is satisfied.”

The report also includes an unrelated update on Maintenance failures during the previous quarter at the Capenhurst nuclear site in North West England.

The full text of the HMI quarterly safety summary can be found at:

https://www.hse.gov.uk/nuclear/quarterly-stat/2010-1.htm

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

11/05/10

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