The Hartlepool nuclear power plant owned by British Energy generates 1,190 megawatts with two reactors. It is expected to be decommissioned in 2014.

Post-Fukushima Report Examining UK Nuclear Plants

Mike Weightman, HM chief inspector of nuclear installations, is scheduled to submit his interim report this month and a final report in October. It will influence the design of new plants.

This summer, Britain's recently created Office for Nuclear Regulation plans to publish the Generic Design Assessment issues it has identified in existing UK nuclear power plants. The publication was planned for June 2011, but ONR now says it is coming in summer so it and regulated parties can take account of recommendations from Mike Weightman, HM chief inspector of nuclear installations. Weightmann is evaluating the industry's facilities in light of the Fukushima Daiichi crisis in Japan at the request of Chris Huhne, Britain's secretary of state for energy and climate change.

Weightman will file an interim report this month and a final report in October 2011, according to ONR, which is part of the Health and Safety Executive. ONR says Weightman's report will draw on work being done by other authorities around the world and will influence both currently operating nuclear plants in Britain and new reactor designs.

Once Mike Weightman's recommendations are known, the [Requesting Parties] can develop credible plans to address them. In the meantime, the Requesting Parties can continue to work on the issues that we have identified," ONR said in a May 5 news release laying out the timetable. "This will allow us to maximise the benefit of the assessment work we have already done, and also ensure that the generic reactor designs take account of relevant lessons learned from the events in Japan. Regulators and industry will be able to assess any impact on the overall timeframe for Generic Design Assessment and site licensing and permitting processes once Mike Weightman's recommendations are known.

"Safety and protection of people and the environment will always be our top priority and it is important that we take the necessary time needed to ensure that we learn any relevant lessons emerging from the events in Japan, and implement any improvements that might be required to the new reactor designs."

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