Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Dounreay power cut - regulatory action

Date released
26 September 2019
Request number
Release of information under
Freedom of Information Act 2000

Information requested

Please can you let me know what regulatory action is being taken into the recent power cut and failure of back up supply at Dounreay on 17 June 2019?

Can you also advise me on how many times back up power has failed at Dounreay since the failure in May 1998, which led to the 1998 HSE safety audit?

Information released

Following the incident on 17 June 2019 the licensee Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) conducted a technical review of the circumstances surrounding this incident and is currently producing a report of its findings. Once this has been received ONR will consider what, if any, further action is warranted.

DSRL has, however, already taken the decision to replace the existing back-up diesel generators with two modern standards units which should prove to be more reliable. In addition, ONR has an inspection planned of DSRL’s contingency and resilience
arrangements in the 2019/20 inspection programme for the site.

The executive summary of the report of the above inspection will in due course be made available on the ONR website on the intervention records page: Intervention records - 2019/20.

Finally, we can confirm that, following a review of our paper and electronic records, ONR does not hold information in relation to any other incident where there has been a failure of back-up electrical supplies at the Dounreay site since May 1998. This has also been verified through discussions with DSRL.

Reference material

Our Quarterly Local Liaison Committee / Site Stakeholder group reports page Quarterly Local Liaison Committee / Site Stakeholder group reports may be of interest to you. In particular the Dounreay quarter 2 report: ONR Site Report for Dounreay - 1 April to 30 June 2019 .

Exemptions applied


PIT (Public Interest Test) if applicable