Fears have been raised that two of the UK’s nuclear reactors might not be able to shut down in an emergency. Documents show the nuclear regulator raised concerns over fractures in the keyways that lock together the core of Hunterston B power station in Ayrshire. They also show the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) is also concerned that Hinkley B in Somerset might have similar problems. EDF insists the cracks pose no threat to safety. Hunterston B and Hinkley Point were the first of Britain’s Advanced Gas Cooled Reactors [AGR] and built in the 1970s. In the documents obtained through a Freedom of Information request, the ONR raised concerns over cracks in reactor three of Hunterston B and spoke of the possibility of them being present at Hinkley B.
BBC 31st Oct 2016 read more »
CRACKS in one of Scotland’s nuclear reactors may prevent it shutting down in an emergency, according to a report by the industry watchdog. Papers obtained by the BBC under freedom of information show that the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) raised concerns about fractures at the core of Hunterston B power station in Ayrshire, and potentially similar problems affecting Hinkley B in Somerset. The ONR documents referred to cracks in reactor three of Hunterston B, built in the 1970s. John Large, who helped design Britain’s early nuclear reactors, believes that if the cracks get any worse it could jeopardise the reactor’s stability in the event of a disaster and make it impossible to lower control rods to shut the reactor down. He described how the structure would become “a very loose stack o f bricks”. He said: “These keyways are beginning to fracture… that means the locking together – the way that force can be transferred from one brick to another – is lost, so it becomes a very loose stack of bricks.” Allan Jeffery, of campaign group Stop Hinkley, said he was concerned that the graphite core – which cannot be repaired – has become less dense because of the effects of radiation. He said: “This… could end up distorting the channels the fuel and the boron control rods use.
Herald 1st Nov 2016 read more »
Ross Greer, Scottish Green MSP for West of Scotland, today (31 Oct) said that safety concerns about the Hunterston nuclear plant aired in a BBC documentary show the need for Ayrshire to plan an economic shift away from such a risky, high-cost industry. In the programme, fears are raised by nuclear expert John Large that the plant’s reactors might not be able to shut down in an emergency. Documents obtained through Freedom of Information show regulator concerns over cracks in reactor three of Hunterston B. Ross Greer MSP said: “The issue of cracks in the reactor has been raised before, and this latest set of concerns from an industry expert will add to uncertainty for local people. It shows how undemocratic French-based multinational EDF were in deciding to extend the life of the plant without seeking local views. “We must start planning now for an economy for Ayrshire that does not feature this risky, high-cost industry. There are alternative sectors we could be building up, whether in renewable energy, food and drink, manufacturing or in energy efficient housing. I look forward to a time when the West of Scotland doesn’t have to worry about nuclear reactor cracks but sadly we’ll be stuck with its toxic legacy for generations.”
Scottish Greens 31st Oct 2016 read more »
OFFICIAL documents revealed the nuclear ¬regulator’s concerns over fractures in the core structure of Hunterston B power station in Ayrshire. CRACKS found in a nuclear reactor have sparked fears that it could not be shut down in an emergency. Official documents revealed the nuclear ¬regulator’s concerns over fractures in the core ¬structure of Hunterston B power station in Ayrshire. Operators EDF Energy say the cracks pose no threat to safety at the site. But paperwork obtained through a freedom of ¬information request shows the Office for Nuclear ¬Regulation have raised concerns over ¬fractures in the brick keyways that lock together the core in reactor three. It’s feared the same problem could arise at EDF’s sister station – Hinkley B in Somerset.
Daily Record 31st Oct 2016 read more »
EDF has moved to allay fears that Hinkley B wouldn’t be able to shut down in an emergency. It was reported by the BBC that the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) had concerns over possible fractures in the graphite bricks which were used in the construction of the reactor. The graphite bricks are in the keyways that would lock together the core of the power plant if a natural disaster, such as an earthquake was to happen. The data was gained from a Freedom of Information request submitted by the BBC, and within it, it stated the ONR was concerned the graphite would not be able to lock together in an emergency.
This is the West Country 31st Oct 2016 read more »