The UK’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has today provided EDF with permission for Reactors 3 and 4 at the Hinkley Point B power station in Somerset, England, to return to service for a limited period of operation. This follows ONR’s assessment of whether cracking observed in the graphite bricks that form the reactor core could compromise the key nuclear safety requirements. Reactor 4 and Reactor 3 were taken offline on 21 February and 8 June 2020, respectively, for a series of planned inspections of the graphite core. The company plans to run Hinkley’s two reactors for six months, “pause” for further inspections and, subject to ONR approval, generate power for a second six-month period. It is expected that the 12 months of operation will generate 8 TWh of electricity. ONR said the three key nuclear safety requirements were: the graphite core will not impede control rod entry, thereby ensuring that the reactors can be safely shutdown and held down, both under normal conditions and during or following fault conditions including seismic events; fuel and core component cooling remains adequate both under normal operating conditions and during or following fault conditions including seismic events; and fuel handling risks due to graphite core cracking remain acceptable. Permission for Reactor 3 will allow it to operate to a core utilisation of 17.55 terawatt days, while permission for Reactor 4 is to operate to a core utilisation of 17.3 terawatt days, which equates to two periods of approximately six months operation for each reactor. Graphite core inspections will take place between each period of operation.
World Nuclear News 17th March 2021 read more »
Hinkley B could resume power generation next week, say bosses. “When I look back at the last 12 months it is incredible to think we have delivered a major inspection and maintenance programme and a thorough justification to restart the nuclear reactors, all as we grappled with a pandemic which has fundamentally changed the way we work. But we’ve done the work, proved our case and I’m thrilled that we can get back online and once again do what we do best.”
Greatest Hits Radio 17th March 2021 read more »
Britain will allow two nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point where cracks were found to resume limited operations ahead of their scheduled closure in 2022, the sector’s regulator said on Wednesday.
Reuters 17th March 2021 read more »
Burnham-on-sea.com 18th March 2021 read more »