Dungeness B power station incident prompts safety improvement notice

The Office for Nuclear Regulation has issued an improvement notice to EDF Energy after an employee suffered an electric shock from a portable heater at Dungeness B power station in Kent

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has taken action against Energy Nuclear Generation Ltd (EDF Energy) after an incident at Dungeness B power station raised concerns regarding worker safety.

The incident, which occurred on 5th November 2023, involved an employee receiving an electric shock from a portable heater while conducting maintenance tasks at the Kent-based facility.

Although the worker sustained injuries requiring medical attention, the ONR has clarified that the incident did not pose any immediate threat to nuclear safety, public wellbeing or environmental integrity.

The improvement notice issued by ONR highlights deficiencies in EDF’s management of electrical systems related to the incident, as outlined in the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

Mike Webb, ONR’s Superintending Inspector for Operating Reactors, said: “Our investigation found that EDF had failed to ensure the electrical systems involved in the incident were constructed and maintained in a way that prevented danger to their workers, so far as is reasonably practicable.

“We will engage with EDF during the period of the improvement notice to ensure positive progress is made to address the shortfall.”

An EDF spokesperson told Energy Live News: “On November 5 2023 and during clean-up operations from Storm Ciaran, a member of EDF staff received an electric shock from a heater being used onsite. He was taken to hospital for treatment but was back at work shortly after.

“EDF continues to work with ONR on the incident.”

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