EDF lied about Dungeness nuclear plant safety
Energy giant EDF failed to properly inform the public after it was forced to close the Dungeness nuclear plant in Kent for two months due to severe flood warning.
In an online statement EDF said: “Reactor 21 was offline for planned refuelling and reactor 22 was shut on 20th May 2013 for planned work to underpin the coastal flooding as part of our severe weather safety case.”
However, the company failed to state that both reactors were closed for two months, as opposed to one reactor closed for five months.
British environmentalists have warned that nuclear power stations are at threat of rising sea levels.
Barry Botley, a campaigner of Kent Against a Radioactive Environment told BBC News that the energy company were unclear about both reactors being out of action. He said: “They betrayed us all and I think it’s absolutely disgusting.”
The station director, Martin Pearson reassured that “the power station has operated normally in the recent high tides and stormy weather”.
Following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan that led to the evacuation of 150,000 residents after the plant was incapable of withstanding an earthquake and tsunami, the importance for nuclear safety is imperative. The country is still facing its aftermath with the plant leaking radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett commented: “There is a real problem about transparency in the nuclear industry – there is a real need to be open, honest and transparent. This incident demonstrates that we can’t dismiss safety concerns, especially after Fukushima.”
As part of a £5million investment in flood protection, a defence wall has been built around the Dungeness plant costing £2.3million.
Executive director of Greenpeace John Sauven remains cynical, stating: “The added costs of protecting the UK’s ageing nuclear stock makes the case for nuclear expansion increasingly expensive, with UK taxpayers having to carry the risks.”