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Sizewell B: ONR assesses review of Belgian plant defects

Inspectors from the Office for Nuclear Regulation are assessing a review by Sizewell B nuclear power station after defects were found at similar plants in Belgium.

In July 2012, inspections at the Doel 3 and Tihange 2 nuclear plants in Belgium revealed a number of defects in the reactor pressure vessels, which have some safety significance.

ONR has been monitoring the situation in Belgium and any possible implications for the UK. The only operating reactor in the UK with a steel reactor pressure vessel similar to those in Doel 3 and Tihange 2 is Sizewell B in Suffolk.

We asked Sizewell B to undertake a review of the site’s manufacturing and inspection records, which is now complete and available on the EDF Energy website.

ONR is currently assessing this review but our preliminary findings indicate that Sizewell B’s inspections, both before and during service, were shown to be capable of finding defects such as those seen in Belgium and no such defects have been observed.

Once complete, we will publish a summary of our assessment on the ONR website.