New report claims Sizewell B nuclear plant is ‘one of the world’s best’
The Sizewell B nuclear plant in Suffolk is considered among the most advanced reactors of its kind in the world, according to a report prompted by the Fukushima disaster in Japan.
The interim review into the safety of UK plants and the lessons to be learned from the Japan crisis declared the Leiston plant's cooling system one of the world's best.
Nuclear chief inspector Mike Weightman's report, which said none of Britain's 19 reactors are the 'boiling water design' used at Fukushima, has been welcomed by EDF Energy and its partner Centrica in the light of plans to build a third reactor at Sizewell.
Energy secretary Chris Huhne said he 'could see no reason' why the Government's plans for new plants could not go ahead. But anti-nuclear campaigners warned it was too early to draw conclusions from Fukushima.
Charles Barnett, of the Shut Down Sizewell group, said he had no confidence in the report, adding: 'The Government is hell-bent on foisting another 10 nuclear power stations on the public.
'The report mentions only the tsunami and takes no account of terrorism, which could leave large areas of the country a radioactive desert, or the real chance of mudslides in the Canaries which could generate a tsunami to dwarf that of Japan.'
However Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey has welcomed the report.
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She said: 'I was delighted to read that the UK's only water cooled nuclear power reactor is at Sizewell B, which is one of the most modern pressurized water reactors operating worldwide.
'I see the dome of Sizewell B whenever I head home to Westleton and am confident that EDF takes safety very seriously and is not at all complacent.
'I do think though that the regulator should move to the Department of Energy and Climate Change so that all nuclear issues can be considered in one Government department.'
EDF Energy chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said: 'While these are interim findings only, they provide a clear endorsement of the safety culture and performance of the UK nuclear industry.
'We are not complacent. We will do whatever is required and we will implement all the recommendations.'