Expert recommends 'strengthened' safety measures for new nuclear plant


Measures to control risks associated with the planned new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point could be strengthened to enhance the safety of the project, according to a safety expert.

Yannick d'Escatha was asked by EDF to work on the multi billion pound project risk review ahead of an eagerly awaited final decision regarding investment for the Somerset plant.

He conducted the review with the help of five EDF experts independent from the project.

He said: "Evidently any project involves risk. The key is to put them under control.

"We did not find any major risks which had not been identified already and dealt with. But in our consideration, measures to control these risks could be strengthened to enhance the safety of the whole project.

"We judged that these risks had been accurately identified and they can be overcome as long as all the safety measures that we recommend are implemented. So from the viewpoint of the risks and under these conditions - the project can be launched."

EDF Group chairman Jean-Bernard Levy said: "Contractual and commercial aspects have been thoroughly examined, including by independent experts, and allow us to be confident to definitively launch the project.

"A risk review completed at the end of 2015 established that the risks are well known and can be overcome through the implementation of a series of recommendations.

"I have decided to implement all of these recommendations. Other risk analyses will take place throughout the project, which is a usual practice for projects of this magnitude."

Doubts have been raised in recent months about the project but EDF has insisted that a final investment decision will be made soon.