The UK has agreed a deal with EDF to build Hinkley Point C, the UK’s first nuclear station in a generation. In light of this momentous announcement, Tony Burton at Thales UK, which has been providing technical support to the existing fleet of EDF UK nuclear power stations for over 25 years, comments on the safety and security requirements for the new nuclear power plants.
According to Tony, “The news that the EDF nuclear deal has finally been given the go ahead is a welcome step forward for the UK nuclear power industry. The decision to invest in new nuclear power generating capacity is a significant landmark in the journey towards a low carbon electricity generating capability, which is necessary to support UK economic growth well into the second half of this century.
The UK nuclear power industry has an excellent safety record. To maintain public confidence, new nuclear power stations should implement an integrated approach to site security, cyber security and personnel security. We cannot afford for physical and cyber security to be addressed in isolation from each other. In order to maximise public safety, the nuclear regulator should require a holistic security approach for all new nuclear sites, and insist on the tight integration of cyber-defences with processes, people and physical measures.
Best practice in security requires regular holistic security audits, which include physical testing, personnel security and the penetration testing of cyber-defences in order to provide the blueprint for updating and evolving defences in a process of constant, iterative improvement.”