The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) welcomes the decision of EDF to extend the outages to Reactors 3 and 4 to March and April 2019 as sensible given the real problems found with the amount of keyway cracks in the graphite bricks surrounding the reactors. The two reactors have been closed now since March 2018, and so this outage means they will not have generated any electricity from Hunterston for a full year, costing EDF millions of pounds in lost income. The Office for Nuclear Regulation has received a safety case from EDF for the reopening of Reactor 4 and EDF is preparing one for Reactor 3 – these will be assessed by the regulator in its determination of whether the reactors are safe to go back into service. This issue remains of real concern to the NFLA given the information provided to it by Dr Ian Fairlie – based on detailed discussions with the nuclear engineering expert, the sadly late John Large. Their joint assessment was that the level of cracks found to date was reaching a level that makes it difficult to reopen the reactors.
NFLA 19th Dec 2018 read more »