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EDF’s Hunterston ageing nuclear power station kept going in effort to prolong all EDF’s old reactors

The Ferret 27th Aug 2020, The energy company, EDF, is planning to operate a cracked and ageing
nuclear power station at Hunterston in North Ayrshire for another year before closing it down for good. The company is hoping to restart the two 44-year-old reactors at the site for two last six-month periods and then
begin decommissioning them “no later than 7 January 2022”.
The reactors were previously scheduled to be shut down in March 2023. The UK government’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has given permission for reactor three at Hunterston to restart and run for six months. But it has yet to allow reactor four to run for another six months, or either reactor a second six months of operation.
Local authorities and campaigners have condemned the moves to restart Hunterston, warning that public health is
being put at risk. They are calling for the plant to be permanently closed down now. The 50-strong group of Nuclear-Free Local Authorities in the UK demanded that both reactors never re-open. “The safest thing to do is to
close Hunterston B and start accelerated decommissioning of its  reactors,” said the group’s Scottish convener, Glasgow SNP councillor Feargal Dalton. “We totally disagree with EDF that decommissioning should start in 2022. It should happen now for the sake of public safety.” He added: “The fact it has taken two years and much resource from EDF to provide sufficient information to the ONR to allow a restart to take place is indicative of the level of risk over the structural integrity of these reactors.”
The Edinburgh-based nuclear critic and consultant, PeterRoche, argued it was “crazy” to restart the reactors. A nuclear reactor in England had been closed because of a surplus of electricity during the coronavirus pandemic, he said. “They people of Ayrshire are clearly being used as guinea pigs by EDF so they can keep their other six ageing reactors across the UK limping along as long as possible because the company has
been in such a financial pickle long before the virus hit,” he added.

August 29, 2020 - Posted by | safety, UK

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