UK government policy is encouraging a low carbon economy where nuclear energy along with other low carbon energy sources such as renewables, have a critical role to play in providing a balanced energy mix for the UK’s energy needs. The recent acquisition of British Energy by EDF provides a strong commitment to the nuclear new build program, and a need to demonstrate to stakeholders and the wider community, that current and planned nuclear assets are managed safely and appropriately.

In a process lasting two years, British Energy benchmarked its business against the BSI Publicly Available Specification 55 (PAS 55-1:2008) for asset management, a specification recognised for leading edge practice in managing physical assets. Applying this specification at all of its nuclear power stations, British Energy is the first nuclear operator to successfully achieve this certification, an approach that has helped manage the return to service of its reactors at Hartlepool and Heysham.

The BSI Publicly Available Specification 55 (PAS 55-1:2008), provided through Lloyd’s Register EMEA, has rapidly gained the attention of major energy companies which see asset management excellence as an essential part of their business strategy and a tool to drive sustained business performance improvements. Continuing economic pressures in the energy industry, combined with growing accountability for safety and the environment, mean that energy companies are looking for more sophisticated methods of managing high-risk assets and ways to reduce risks of failure.

Iain Light, Lloyd’s Register’s Energy Business Director, presented the PAS 55-1 certificate to Bill Coley, CEO of British Energy, part of EDF Energy, and Val Kohler, Head of Asset Planning, Risk and Investment at British Energy at a ceremony in London on May 14, 2009. Recognising British Energy’s achievements, Iain Light commented, “Naturally we are delighted British Energy chose Lloyd’s Register for this project. It shows how serious British Energy is taking its responsibilities, seeking third party technical assurance to provide confidence its assets can be operated safely and effectively.” Light continued, “The interests of the community and of the environment have been at the heart of the Lloyd’s Register business since its inception 250 years ago. We want to further our provision of asset management and safety assurance to operators in the energy industry to ensure they benefit from the critical experience we have gained over many years.”

The PAS 55 approach challenged British Energy to meet stringent assessments. Bill Coley, Chief Executive of British Energy said, “As part of EDF Energy, we are one of the UK’s largest power companies. Engagement in this project was beneficial in supporting our continuous quest for safety and operational excellence.” Coley went on to say, “As a nuclear generator, safety is always our first priority and the product we deliver, low-carbon electricity, is important to the people and the economy of the UK. This award is an important recognition of our ability to achieve those objectives through outstanding human performance and by optimizing our investment and resources.”

In-depth analysis led to a series of reviews to judge how robust its management processes are for capital investments, operations, maintenance, resourcing, risk, performance and sustainability, including optimising life-operating costs without compromising safety or performance. British Energy’s certification to this world-class asset management approach, reinforces the Lloyd’s Register Group as a world leader in PAS 55 certification throughout the energy supply chain.  

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