Hinkley Point damaged silo

Members of The Stop Hinkley campaign organisation and other anti-nuclear groups have this week written to the UK’s nuclear regulator over its lack of a response to a recent incident at the Hinkley Point C construction site in which a silo was damaged.

As reported by Burnham-On-Sea.com here, at around 7.30am on June 10th, a large dust cloud was released from a silo in the concrete batching plant, known as the GGBS Silo, which is used to store aggregates for concrete production.

There has been concern about how the 35-metre tall tower, weighing 5,000 tonnes, suffered “structural damage”.

The Stop Hinkley group says it has expressed concern that this represents a wider lack of control of the nuclear industry by the Office for Nuclear Regulation. EDF says an investigation is underway.

Hinkley Point C
The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) addressed the concerns by saying that it was satisfied there were “no nuclear safety consequences” as a result of the damage. It has also said it will decide on its course of action after EDF returns its findings.

Stop Hinkley chairperson Sue Aubrey, who could see the silo from her house says: “Stop Hinkley understands that the ONR had not visited the silo since the accident by 26th June. By 2nd July the silo had been removed by EDF. It is most unfortunate that ONR does not seem to have seen the damage for themselves, and are, therefore, reliant on EDF’s explanation which does not ring true to us.”

She continued: “Viewing photographs taken from outside the perimeter fence it looks like there must have been some sort of explosion to split the walls of the silo from the base spreading a third up the sides. It was premature for EDF to remove the silo before ONR could visit the site. One might be drawn to the conclusion that EDF has something to hide.”

“The concrete batching plant may not have been part of the nuclear build but the damage does not give us confidence in EDF’s ability to build a nuclear power station.”

The groups are calling on the ONR to implement “a tighter regime of inspections” and assurance that “the ONR is in control over this company EDF and all the work it carries out.”

A spokesman for EDF said: “A silo in the concrete batching plant at Hinkley Point C suffered structural damage, releasing a dust cloud around the area.  Nobody was injured and the emergency services were not required. An investigation is underway to understand the cause of the event.”

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