The company operates seven advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGRs) — Hinkley Point B in Somerset, Heysham 1 and Heysham 2 in Lancashire, Dungeness B in Kent, Hartlepool in Teesside, Hunterston B in Ayrshire and Torness in Lothian; and one pressurized water reactor (PWR) Sizewell B located in Suffolk.

According to the company, its eight stations were inspected by chief nuclear inspector Dr Mike Weightman, who found that there were ‘no fundamental weaknesses’.

ONR said in a statement: "Based on the learning from Fukushima, EDF NGL built a capability based on enhanced site resilience to extreme natural hazards combined with a response capability to restore key cooling and electrical
functions regardless of the initiating event.

"The capability aims to prevent a severe accident occurring should there be an extreme event and is in addition to those measures that were present prior to the events in Fukushima."

However, Weightman has made some more recommendations to improve safety at the plants. As a result, EDF will provide additional training for key technical staff, upgrade backup equipment for cooling systems, and provide emergency command and control facilities.

EDF Energy’s generation business managing director Stuart Crooks said: "In the immediate aftermath of Fukushima we satisfied ourselves and the regulator that our plants were safe to continue operation.

"At the same time we conducted a detailed review to ensure we had learned the lessons from the event and make recommendations to improve our safety margins even more."

A new emergency response centre will be set up near the pressurized water reactor Sizewell B station.

"Although this work programme has been successfully completed and validated by the Office for Nuclear Regulation we will continue to learn and ensure we achieve safe reliable generation of low carbon electricity over the life of our nuclear stations," Crooks added.

Image: EDF’s emergency response center. Photo: courtesy of EDF Energy.