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Britain’s Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) demand closing of ageing dangerous nuclear reactors

Climate News Network 13th Aug 2020, Four of the UK’s ageing nuclear power reactors, currently closed for
repairs, should not be allowed to restart, in order to protect public health, says a consortium of 40 local authorities in Britain and Ireland.

The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA), the local government voice on nuclear issues in the United Kingdom, then wants all the rest of the country’s 14 ageing advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGRs) shut down as soon as possible, with the power they produce replaced by renewables and a programme of energy efficiency.

The four reactors they want closed immediately are two at Hunterston in Scotland and two at Hinkley Point B in
Somerset in the West of England. Of the other five power stations (each with two reactors) which the NFLA wants shut down as soon as possible, one is at Torness, also in Scotland. Three more are in the North of England –
one at Hartlepool in County Durham and two at Heysham in Lancashire – and one at Dungeness in south-east England.

To protect the jobs of those involved, the NFLA calls in its report on the future of the AGRs for a “Just Transition”: retraining for skilled workers, but also an accelerated decommissioning of the plants to use the nuclear skills of the
existing workforce.

The report details the dangers that the reactors, some more than 40 years old, pose to the public. Graphite blocks, which are vital for closing down the reactor in an emergency, are disintegrating because of constant radiation, and other plants are so corroded that pipework is judged dangerous. If the two Hunterston reactors were restarted
and the graphite blocks failed, a worst-case accident would mean both Edinburgh and Glasgow would have to be evacuated, the report says.

August 15, 2020 - Posted by | safety, UK

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