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United Kingdom Earth Power

Gas Cooled Reactors Shut Down In UK 120

mdsolar writes EDF Energy, the British subsidiary of the French state-controlled utility, said on Monday that it was shutting down three nuclear reactors and that a reactor with a fault that has been shut down since June would remain so. The facilities, which are being investigated as a precaution, generate nearly a quarter of nuclear capacity in Britain. The British Office for Nuclear Regulation said that there had been no release of radioactive material and no injuries. Industry experts did not anticipate much effect on electricity supplies or prices in the short term. EDF said that over the next few days it would idle a second reactor at the facility, Heysham 1, in northwest England. The company said it would also shut down two other reactors of similar design at Hartlepool in northeast England to investigate whether they had the same flaws.
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Gas Cooled Reactors Shut Down In UK

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  • Re:not big in UK (Score:5, Informative)

    by DaveAtWorkAnnoyingly ( 655625 ) on Monday August 11, 2014 @06:21PM (#47651247)
    Ground isn't broken and the company hasn't even committed to building them yet. (I work for EDF Energy)
  • Re:not big in UK (Score:4, Informative)

    by Rising Ape ( 1620461 ) on Monday August 11, 2014 @07:31PM (#47651667)

    Especially in this case since Windscale was also gas-cooled.

    Air-cooled. Which is indeed a gas, but very different to the CO2-cooled reactors described here. Windscale was an air-cooled, open-loop plutonium production reactor designed in the 1940s. It didn't generate electricity and has very little relation to the later electricity-generating reactors.

  • May have to close (Score:5, Informative)

    by mdsolar ( 1045926 ) on Monday August 11, 2014 @09:22PM (#47652133) Homepage Journal
    "The reactor problems highlight that most of Britain’s nuclear installations, which generate about 20 percent of the country’s electricity, are approaching the end of their lives. The four EDF reactors under investigation were commissioned in 1983 and are officially scheduled to be removed from service in 2019. EDF Energy had been expected to seek extensions to the lives of the plants, but if the problems turn out to be too expensive to be worth fixing, then they might end up being permanently closed sooner than expected. “If this fault is as a result of the aging of the unit, this has potential implications for the operational life of these four units and, potentially, others as well,” said Antony Froggatt, a nuclear analyst at Chatham House, a London research organization."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @05:13AM (#47653413)

    Although the story link in your summary seems factually correct, the slashdot summary is qute wrong.

    EDF Energy as a whole supplies 25% of the UK's energy needs (57.5 GW peak in 2012) with 16 nuclear reactors (about 9.9 GW of capicity) and 7 conventional coal and gas turbines (3,4 GW of capacity) and various renewable energy sources with about 1,5GW of capacity. Of the 16 reactors, 1 is a pressurised water reactor (PWR) and 15 are avanced gas reactors (AGR) and four of these AGRs are of the same design as Dungeness B with the faulty boiler pump. There are only 4 of those reactors offline and only 3 of which are offline for unscheduled maintenance and the other twelve are still running. Just because EDf Energy has 15 AGRs it doesn't mean that all 15 have the same boiler pumps as Dungeness B. Dungeness B has been shut down since june due to a pump failure and two other reactors were shutdown for an inspection of similar pumps. The fourth reactor currently shutdown (Heysham 1) is in a scheduled outage and Hartepool 1 pumps will be inspected in a schedue outage later this month.

    You can see the current status of EDF Energies AGR reactors


    So the real impact of this problem is in fact only three reactors offline that should have been functional with a capicity of about 1,6 GW. As ratio of EDF energies total production capicity of 14,8 GW this is 12% of their capacity of 3% of the UKs total energy production capacity. As its summer the energy needs of the UK are in fact reduced and most scheduled outages of nuclear reactors in Europe and performed in this period are this reason, so a 3% loss of capacity in summer is frankly nothing.


Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser