The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has provided EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Ltd (EDF NGL) with permission for Reactor 3 at Hunterston B link to external website to return to service for a limited period of operation. The permission is for up to a total of 16.425 Terawatt days, approximately six months’ operation. The decision to restart the reactor follows an extensive and detailed assessment of EDF NGL’s safety case by specialist ONR inspectors.
ONR 27th Aug 2020 read more »
The energy company, EDF, is planning to operate a cracked and ageing nuclear power station at Hunterston in North Ayrshire for another year before closing it down for good. The company is hoping to restart the two 44-year-old reactors at the site for two last six-month periods and then begin decommissioning them “no later than 7 January 2022”. The reactors were previously scheduled to be shut down in March 2023. The UK government’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has given permission for reactor three at Hunterston to restart and run for six months. But it has yet to allow reactor four to run for another six months, or either reactor a second six months of operation. Local authorities and campaigners have condemned the moves to restart Hunterston, warning that public health is being put at risk. They are calling for the plant to be permanently closed down now. The 50-strong group of Nuclear-Free Local Authorities in the UK demanded that both reactors never re-open. “The safest thing to do is to close Hunterston B and start accelerated decommissioning of its reactors,” said the group’s Scottish convener, Glasgow SNP councillor Feargal Dalton. “We totally disagree with EDF that decommissioning should start in 2022. It should happen now for the sake of public safety.” He added: “The fact it has taken two years and much resource from EDF to provide sufficient information to the ONR to allow a restart to take place is indicative of the level of risk over the structural integrity of these reactors.” The Edinburgh-based nuclear critic and consultant, Peter Roche, argued it was “crazy” to restart the reactors. A nuclear reactor in England had been closed because of a surplus of electricity during the coronavirus pandemic, he said. “They people of Ayrshire are clearly being used as guinea pigs by EDF so they can keep their other six ageing reactors across the UK limping along as long as possible because the company has been in such a financial pickle long before the virus hit,” he added.
The Ferret 27th Aug 2020 read more »
EDF has received approval to start generating low carbon power again from one of the reactors at Hunterston B power station in Ayrshire, Scotland. This follows a major, two-year inspection and investment programme to prove that the station can respond safely to a range of earthquake scenarios, far worse than the UK has ever experienced or expects to occur. Given the age of the station and the desire to provide clarity for our staff, the community and business partners, EDF has decided that Hunterston B will move into the defuelling phase no later than 7 January 2022. This is subject to a further inspection in Spring 2021 and then regulatory approval for a final 6 months of operation.
EDF Energy 27th Aug 2020 read more »
Hunterston nuclear power station, one of the UK’s oldest remaining nuclear plants, is to close down next year, earlier than expected, after encountering a series of safety-critical problems in its reactors. Industry sources told the Guardian that EDF Energy, the state-owned French operator of Hunterston, decided at a board meeting on Thursday afternoon that the plant would stop generating electricity in late 2021, at least two years earlier than planned. The energy company had hoped to keep generating electricity from the 44-year-old nuclear plant on the Firth of Clyde until 2023, after ploughing more than £200m into repairing the reactor. Hunterston, which first began generating electricity in 1976, has been offline since 2018 after inspectors discovered 350 microscopic cracks in the reactor’s graphite core.
Guardian 27th Aug 2020 read more »
A Scottish nuclear power station that had been forced to reduce output in recent years due to cracks in its core will begin the decommissioning process by 2022. Hunterston B in North Ayrshire previously had an estimated decommissioning date of 2023, with “a plus/minus two years proviso”. EDF Energy said the plant would move into the defuelling phase no later than Jan 7 2022 – subject to an inspection next spring and regulatory approval for the final six months.
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Trade union Unite has urged the UK government to commit to new nuclear energy capacity following energy giant EDF Energy’s decision to bring forward the closure of the Hunterston B power station in Ayrshire by two years. The plant’s reactors have been generating electricity since 1976 but two years ago more than 350 cracks were found in the graphite bricks which make up the reactor’s core. The state-owned French company EDF wanted to keep them going until at least 2023. However, it has decided to bring forward the plans affecting approximately 580 workers. About 125 will lose their jobs next January with others retained until 2025 for the de-fuelling process.
Daily Business 27th Aug 2020 read more »
EDF has received regulatory approval to start generating low carbon power again from Reactor 3 at Hunterston B power station in Ayrshire, Scotland. This follows a two-year inspection and investment programme. EDF also said the plant will move into the defuelling phase no later than 7 January 2022. This is subject to a further inspection in the spring of 2021 and then regulatory approval for a final six months of operation.
World Nuclear News 27th Aug 2020 read more »