EDF nuclear plant hit with improvement notice over steam leak

EDF Energy has received an improvement notice from the Office for Nuclear Regulation following a steam leak incident at Heysham 1 Power Station

EDF Energy has been served with an improvement notice by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) after a steam leak incident occurred at Heysham 1 Power Station.

The incident occurred during Reactor 1’s return to service on 23rd December 2023, prompting ONR’s intervention under the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000 and the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

While no injuries or environmental risks were reported, the ONR highlighted EDF’s failure to ensure proper maintenance of the valve system, emphasising the importance of employee safety.

EDF Energy has until 30th April to comply with the improvement notice issued.

Mike Webb, ONR’s Superintending Inspector for Operating Reactors, said: “Our investigation found that EDF had failed to ensure that the valve system was properly maintained and, by failing to do this, EDF had put at risk the safety of their employees.

“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: “EDF takes the issue of safety at its sites seriously. Following the failure of part of a steam valve in the Heysham 1 boiler pipework, EDF proactively decided to take the station offline to safely conduct inspections and find a solution with the valve manufacturers. The station will be back online once this work is complete.”

“We accept the ONR’s findings and are working hard to ensure these are addressed. We are also carrying out a full review to understand how this issue occurred and will share the outcomes and findings with the ONR.”

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