Office for Nuclear Regulation

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EDF and Doosan Babcock plead guilty – update

10 October, 2018

Update – 6 November 2018

A sentencing date in this case has now been set for Friday, February 1, at Taunton Crown Court, currently listed for 10am. This date supersedes the previous provisional sentencing date which is no longer applicable.

EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Ltd and Doosan Babcock Ltd have pleaded guilty today (10 October 2018) to offences under the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, section 3(1) and the Work at Height Regulations 2005, Regulation 4(1) respectively.

The charges relate to an incident on 12 April 2017 at the Hinkley Point B nuclear power station, which resulted in a serious injury to a Doosan Babcock Ltd employee.

The incident was a conventional health and safety matter and there was no radiological risk to workers or the public.

Following a hearing at Taunton Magistrates Court, the case was committed for sentencing at Taunton Crown Court with an initial hearing date set for 16 November 2018, although this date is subject is change.

The prosecution was the result of an investigation into the incident by the ONR, the UK’s independent nuclear safety regulator.

Donald Urquhart, ONR’s Deputy Chief Inspector and Director of Operating Facilities regulation, said: “We welcome today’s guilty plea from both EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Ltd and Doosan Babcock Ltd.

“This Doosan Babcock employee was undertaking routine welding work when he fell through a fragile skylight. This could, and should, have been prevented.

“We expect those with responsibilities for safety to have adequate safety processes in place to prevent such incidents. In this case, both companies fell short of their legal duty in this regard.

“Separate to this court case, we issued legally enforceable improvement notices to EDF and Doosan Babcock, requiring them to put in place measures to deal with this specific risk. We are satisfied that these notices have now been complied with.

“As an independent regulator, the safety and security of workers and the public is our primary concern, and this prosecution shows that we will take robust regulatory action where necessary to ensure compliance with the law.”