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More Cracks Found In Hunterston Nuclear Reactors

January 9, 2019

By Paul Homewood


The latest news on Hunterston from The Ferret:



Pressure is mounting to keep two nuclear power reactors at Hunterston in North Ayrshire closed after the company that runs them, EDF Energy, said it had found more cracks and was again postponing plans to restart.

The French company now estimates that there are 370 major cracks in the graphite core of reactor three and 200 cracks in the core of reactor four. Reactor three has been closed down since 9 March 2018, and reactor four since 2 October.

The day after The Ferret revealed in November that 350 cracks had been discovered in reactor three in breach of an operating safety limit, EDF postponed restarting both reactors to January and February.

But there’s been a further delay, with the company now hoping to restart reactor four at the end of March and reactor three at the end of April.

Full story here.


Problems with cracks at Hunterston are not new. Back in 2014, the BBC reported that new cracks found then could threaten EDF plans to extend the life of Hunterston to 2023.

In theory, the UK has 9.3 GW of nuclear capacity, of which Hunterston accounts for 1.2 GW.

  1. January 9, 2019 3:26 pm

    Never mind, stick up X,000 more wind turbines. That will do the trick. (sarc.

  2. HotScot permalink
    January 9, 2019 3:49 pm

    Slightly OT but I was taken for a visit to Hunterston nearly 50 years ago, as a kid. We hear horror stories about warming oceans killing off sea life yet around the warm water outlets of the power station lurked the biggest examples of aquatic life I have ever seen in my life. There was a viewing gallery where you could watch these animals swimming past and the area was literally overrun with them. They loved the warm nutrient rich waters.

    And no, none of them glowed! 🙂

  3. Joe Public permalink
    January 9, 2019 3:57 pm

  4. January 9, 2019 4:04 pm

    Researching better materials for wind turbines is now big business … paid by the unwitting taxpayer, for nuclear containment … not so much.

  5. Jack Broughton permalink
    January 9, 2019 5:15 pm

    The Ferret article is plagued by “experts” and political dogmatists. Cracks are normal in high pressure equipment and need to be evaluated, monitored and repaired (as appropriate). What is essential is that the operations are not less safe.

    All energy issues are being treated as “Oxbridge debating” issues by non-energy people who care not-a-jot about the real implications of their high-handed attitudes (they can afford to pay anyway).

    It is still barely possible to get any article published that criticises the “proven science” that is not AGW. The H of C brexit approach smells of similar aromas, as does the “fracking” debate.

  6. Hayden permalink
    January 9, 2019 9:38 pm

    And, because of the shortage of nuclear energy, and the paucity of wind, they had to fire-up the Open-Cycle gas turbines today (9th Jan). Expensive and polluting. As well as the coal-fired stations going full blast.
    In other words, we are already in generating crisis mode, which no amount of new wind turbines will fix.

  7. markl permalink
    January 9, 2019 11:30 pm

    Graphite? Time to replace with state of the art nuclear technology.

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