EDF Energy has said that the cracks found in two graphite blocks of the Hunterston B core are expected and accounted for, and should make no difference to the safety of the station's continued operation.
Colin Weir, Station Director at Hunterston B said:
"Every time we take the reactor out of service for planned maintenance we inspect the graphite core, which is made up of around 6,000 bricks. During the current Hunterston outage we found two bricks with a new crack which is what we predicted during Hunterston B's lifetime as a result of extensive research and modelling."
He added that the cracks will not affect the operation of this reactor, and that the station is expecting that a few additional cracks will occur during the next period of operation.
“The small number of cracked bricks found during routine inspection is in line with our expectations, the findings have no safety implications and are well within any limits for safe operation agreed with our regulator."
Picture: two types of cracking are shown in the picture of the hollow graphite block.