Torness nuclear power station could see cracks appearing in its reactor six years earlier than originally estimated. The nuclear site in East Lothian has been open since 1989 and was originally set to be decommissioned in 2023 but was given an extension to continue operation until 2030 back in 2016. However, operators EDF energy have now been told the plant can only do this if there is a serious increase in the checks for cracks after the ONR estimated that this will now begin as early as 2022, reports investigative journalism site The Ferret. Cracking is a serious issue in older nuclear plants, occurring when the graphite moderator cores in the reactor crack, leading to potential instabilities which can cause a major nuclear accident. At present, no cracks have been detected at Torness, however the Office for Nuclear Regulation flagged a series of issues during the plant’s ten year review, one of which was that cracking could begin from 2022, rather than the original estimate of 2028.
Edinburgh Live 10th June 2020 read more »