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The Impact of Severe Weather Events on the Operation of Nuclear Power Stations

Date released
29 November 2023
Request number
Release of information under
Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR)

Information requested

I would be grateful if you could confirm whether or not the ONR holds information on the impact of severe weather events on the operation of nuclear power stations in England. I am specifically interested in any data collected by the ONR on any shutdown periods related to extreme weather.

Information released

We can confirm that under s.1 of the FOIA, we do hold information on the impacts of severe weather events. We note you are interested in shutdown periods related to extreme weather. Our searches returned fifteen incidents associated with extreme weather, five of which resulted in operational shutdown.

The relevant incidents resulting in shutdowns occurred on:

  • 2 June 2015 at Hunterston B – a trip was experienced due to severe seaweed ingress accompanied by strong winds and storm surges;
  • 22 November 2016 at Torness – a shutdown was caused by severe marine conditions
  • 18 February 2022 at Hinkley Point B – Reactor 3 Class 1 experienced a turbine trip during Storm Eunice;
  • 22 February 2022 at Hinkley Point B - Reactor 4 Turbine 8 was manually shut down as a precaution due to the consequences of Storm Eunice; and,
  • 2 November 2023 at Dungeness B (to be noted that this plant is already in permanent shutdown) – a loss of off-site power was experienced as a result of storm Ciaran;

Further information

We have also provided links below to some of our publications on extreme weather events and a paper by the ONR Expert Panel on Natural Hazards, which you may find useful:

Exemptions applied


PIT (Public Interest Test) if applicable