EDF Energy has extended an outage at its Hunterston B-7 nuclear reactor in Britain, offline since March when cracks were found in its core, until Feb. 21, it said in a market update. The cracks were found at the reactor, which can produce enough electricity to power more than 800,000 homes, during a routine inspection. Hunterston B-7 was initially scheduled to return to service on Nov. 17, later pushed back until Dec. 18. EDF Energy said it had extended the outage to prepare a safety case needed for Britain’s nuclear regulator to allow the unit to restart. “We are preparing to present a safety case for (the) return to service of Reactor 3 (turbine generator 7) to the regulator, the ONR (Office for Nuclear Regulation),” a spokeswoman for EDF Energy, the UK arm of France’s EDF, said via email. EDF Energy said a safety case has been submitted to the ONR for the Hunterston B-8 unit, which has been offline since October, but an outage at that reactor has been extended until Jan. 14 to allow the regulator time to review the case.
Reuters 22nd Nov 2018 read more »
Cracks that are spreading in two ageing nuclear power reactors at Hunterston in North Ayrshire have delayed plans to reopen them until 2019. EDF Energy has postponed the scheduled restart for reactor three from 18 December until 21 February, and the restart of reactor four from 30 November until 14 January. Reactor three has been closed down since 9 March 2018, and reactor four since 2 October. The shutdowns are to enable the reactors’ graphite cores to be inspected for cracks which could jeopardise nuclear safety. The scheduled date for reopening reactor three, the oldest in EDF’s fleet, has been repeatedly postponed as more cracks have been found. Critics welcomed the delays. They were recognition of the “seriousness” of the cracking problems, said Dr Ian Fairlie, a radioactivity consultant who advises local groups opposed to Hunterston restarting. He has warned of the risk of a major nuclear accident spreading radioactive contamination over Glasgow and Edinburgh. “At the very least, people living in the central belt of Scotland can breathe a bit easier for the next few months as the threat of an imminent restart has been lifted for two more months,” he said.
Ferret 22nd Nov 2018 read more »