Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Stress tests of UK non power generating nuclear facilities: final report published

15 May, 2012

The Office for Nuclear Regulation published today (15 May 2012) its assessment of ‘stress tests’ of UK non power generating nuclear facilities.

The tests were requested last year by chief nuclear inspector Mike Weightman following the accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant in Japan.

They are in addition to stress tests of UK nuclear power plants, which were required by the European Council.

For both reports, licensees of the facilities carried out the stress tests against defined assessment criteria and the Office for Nuclear Regulation has then independently reviewed the results.

Mark Foy, a senior inspector at the Office for Nuclear Regulation, who was involved in producing the non power generating nuclear facilities report, said: “Fukushima Dai-ichi provided the world with a unique opportunity to learn from a serious nuclear accident. We have required licensees to assess how well they would deal with extreme situations beyond what they would normally consider in their regular safety reviews.

“This report concludes there is work to be done to make sites more resilient, but no serious safety weaknesses have emerged. There are 75 findings. The majority cover severe accident management and back-up for key systems and functions. We are requiring licensees to address the issues raised.

“The stress test process will enhance safety. We are ensuring that lessons are learned and that we continue to challenge the UK nuclear industry, regulators and Government to continuous improvement.”

This is the sixth report published by the Office for Nuclear Regulation relating to learning lessons from Fukushima Dai-ichi – and it is published almost a year to the day since it published the first. The reports and background information are available in a dedicated section on the ONR website.