Ageing Reactors Were Shut Down Nine Months After Fault Alert

The owners of Britain’s ageing nuclear power stations discovered a safety problem with a reactor last year but waited nine months before shutting down similar reactors to check if they had the same defect. EDF Energy, the French state-controlled company, said yesterday that it had shut down four reactors, a quarter of its nuclear generating capacity, because it had “confirmed a defect”.’ Steve Thomas, professor of energy policy at the University of Greenwich, said there might have been an explosion and serious contamination if the boiler spine had failed and water had entered the reactor vessel. ONR said: “ONR is satisfied that EDF Energy is taking appropriate and conservative action in the interests of continued nuclear safety.” Dr. David Lowry, an environmental consultant, said “EDF Energy has a duty to be candid with the British public about safety problems. By withholding information for nine months, it seems to have tried to retain a positive public attitude to nuclear power as it presses ahead with plans to build two giant new reactors at Hinkley Point whose f 16 billion-plus costs will be heavily subsidised by British Taxpayers”.’

From The Times 12h August 2014

[Once again, the ONR accommodating the nuclear industry before our safety. -Ed.]