EDF shuts nuclear plants after unexpected “defect”

EDF Energy has shut down two of its nuclear power stations in the UK for safety inspections because of a “defect” in one reactor at Heysham 1 plant. Today the […]

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By Vicky Ellis

EDF Energy has shut down two of its nuclear power stations in the UK for safety inspections because of a “defect” in one reactor at Heysham 1 plant.

Today the firm said it has taken the “conservative” decision for Heysham and its sister plant Hartlepool after a suspected defect in a boiler at Heysham 1 was found.

The two plants are similar in design.

In a statement EDF Energy said it has closed Heysham 1 Reactor 2 and Hartlepool Reactors 1 and 2 for the next few days to carry out further inspections “in order to satisfy itself and the Regulator that the reactors can be safely returned to service.”

Hartlepool nuclear power station has a similar design to Heysham. Image: Thinkstock
Hartlepool nuclear power station has a similar design to Heysham. Image: Thinkstock

The firm said it won’t know when the four reactors can return to service until the inspections are done.

But it estimated the investigations would take around eight weeks.

Heysham 1 was shut down last year for a routine check-up, during which the “unexpected result” in one of eight boilers was uncovered.

EDF Energy’s other UK plants are not affected, it said, because they are a different design.