A nuclear power station in Lancashire, UK, has been ordered to improve its safety standards after a steam leak injured three workers.
The three men ended up injured during a serious incident at Heysham 1 nuclear power station on November 19 last year.
The government watchdog for nuclear safety launched an investigation into the incident at Heysham Nuclear Power Station on November 19. EDF, the owner of the facility, said the power station suffered an industrial incident in the form of a “steam release,” which caused a blast of high-temperature steam to escape.
EDF said the incident was “not nuclear related” and did not pose a threat to the public. But the incident was immediately referred to the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the government watchdog launched an official investigation.
After a three-month long inquiry into the incident, the ONR said it had served EDF Energy with two “improvement notices” relating to safety regulations.
“The Office for Nuclear Regulation has served two improvement notices on EDF Energy following a serious incident at Heysham 1 power station on 19 November 2018,” A spokesman for the ONR said. “The incident occurred when a valve failed on a steam system causing injury to three EDF Energy employees. There was no release of radioactive material and the two reactors remained operational following the incident. The two notices relate to the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (2000) and require EDF Energy to improve the instructions provided to staff operating steam systems and to also ensure steam systems are properly maintained.”
The watchdog said EDF Energy has until September 16 to comply with the requirements of the two improvement notices.
According to the ONR, the investigation is ongoing and the power plant could be subject to further enforcement action.
A formal ONR investigation is ongoing to establish the underlying causes of this incident.
EDF will act on any guidance issued by the ONR to ensure such accidents do not happen again, said Director of Heysham 1 station, Richard Bradfield. In addition, he said, the three injured workers are continuing with their recovery.