The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) are concerned with the decision of the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) to approve EDF’s Periodic Safety Reviews for the Hinkley Point B and Hunterston B nuclear reactors. A key concern for the NFLA and other groups has been around EDF’s revised graphite core safety case for both sites and the increased levels of cracks found in the graphite bricks around the reactor pressure vessel. For example, the independent nuclear engineering consultant John Large has said that if the cracks get any worse it could jeopardise the reactor’s stability in the event of a significant disaster – such as a small earthquake – and make it impossible to lower control rods to shut the reactor down. 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.” In a local BBC ‘Inside Out’ documentary Allan Jeffrey of the group Stop Hinkley added: “This weakness in the graphite core could end up distorting the channels the fuel and the boron control rods use. In cases of emergency there are sudden changes in temperature and pressure which could all end up starting to deform these channels. If you can’t get the control rod down then you can’t control the temperature inside the reactor and you’re heading for accidents – possibly even meltdowns.” A report also undertaken in an independent capacity by the NFLA Scotland Policy Advisor for the Scottish Green Party notes that it is probably illegal under the international Espoo Convention to approve the safety assessment without a full environmental impact assessment. As such the Scottish public are being denied a say in the decision to keep the oldest nuclear power station in Scotland running.
NFLA 2nd March 2017 read more »
Ross Greer, Scottish Green MSP for West of Scotland, today (2 March) criticised the UK’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) for giving the green light to increased cracking in the reactor of the Hunterston B nuclear power station in Ayrshire. The ONR says the Periodic Safety Review for Hunterston by operators EDF is adequate. It allows for a doubling in the amount of cracked graphite bricks, which safety experts have warned could lead to nuclear fuel overheating, potentially resulting in a radiological release. In January, Ross Greer published a report authored by an independent expert on nuclear safety, which concluded that despite it being probably illegal under international law, the Scottish public were being denied a say in the decision to keep Scotland’s oldest nuclear power station running.
Scottish Greens 2nd March 2017 read more »
Ross Greer, Scottish Green MSP for Wwest of Scotland, last night hit out at the lack of public consultation on the matter. In January, Greer championed a report authored by an independent expert on nuclear safety, which concluded that despite it being probably illegal under international law, the Scottish public were being denied a say in the decision to keep Scotland’s oldest nuclear power station running. The MSP said: “News that EDF are to be allowed more cracking within Hunterston’s reactor will concern residents across North Ayrshire, the West of Scotland and further afield. The lack of public consultation is simply unacceptable.
Energy Voice 2nd March 2017 read more »