Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Sizewell B nuclear power station: the findings of NII's assessment of British Energy's periodic safety review

This is the final report of the first cycle of PSRs for the fleet of British Energy stations. It is also the report on the first PSR of a Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) carried out by the licensee and assessed by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII). It describes the current position and background to NII's assessment and presents conclusions on the acceptability of continued operation of the station for the next ten years. HSE previously published reports of its PSR findings in paper form (and for the predecessors of the PSRs, the Long Term Safety Reviews of the magnox stations). However, as greater use is being made of internet-based reports, the decision has been made to report these findings via HSE's web site.

Overall, NII is satisfied that the licensee has completed a detailed scrutiny of the safety of the nuclear power station. Improvements which the licensee had initiated in advance of the review have enhanced the safety of the station, bringing the design closer to current standards. The overall outcome of the licensee's reviews, together with the programmes of additional modifications and inspections which have been put in place, provide confidence in the ability of this station to continue to operate safely.

Nevertheless, NII has also identified the need for some further work and a programme for this has been agreed with the licensee, the majority of which it intends to complete by December 2006. Subject to the completion of this work, and continuing satisfactory results from the routine monitoring and demonstrations of safety required under the nuclear site licensing arrangements, NII is confident that Sizewell B nuclear power station can continue to operate safely at least until September 2015, by which time NII will have assessed a further periodic safety review.