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UK’s planned Sizewell nuclear reactor at risk – same design as Taishan reactor which has been shut down since July for safety reasons

Chinese nuclear reactor shutdown hangs over future of Sizewell C. Developers behind Taishan plant, where radiation was found in cooling waters, are also building UK’s Hinkley Point C and planning Sizewell C.

Reports of cracked fuel rods from a Chinese nuclear power station will be examined for any implications for new plants in Britain. Mark Foy, chief nuclear inspector at the Office for Nuclear Regulation, told civil society groups he was in touch with Chinese and other regulators over the plant in Taishan, southeastern China, where a reactor has been shut since July after radiation was found in its cooling waters. The plant is owned by Chinese state nuclear developer CGN along with its French equivalent EDF.

The two companies are also building the Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset and areplanning a second plant, Sizewell C in Suffolk, using the same reactor design as at Taishan. he problems at Taishan emerged in June after CNN reported that Framatome, the part-EDF owned company which helps run the plant, had written to US officials on June 8 asking for permission to share American technical assistance. Experts have said cracked fuel rods are “not uncommon”, albeit undesirable. An Office for Nuclear Regulation spokesman said: “We held one of our regular meetings with the NGO community last week where we reiterated that we remain in contact with the Chinese, French and Finnish regulators on this matter and are likely to be in dialogue again with them before the end of this year. “We will take the opportunity to gain any knowledge from this issue in China to help inform our regulation of nuclear plants in the UK, like Hinkley Point C, where the EPR reactor will be installed.”

 Telegraph 14th Nov 2021

November 16, 2021 - Posted by | business and costs, safety, UK

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