British Energy’s (BE’s) four AGR units at Hunterston and Hinkley Point are expected to aim for up to 70% capacity until next year, when a decision is made about their future.
Hunterston and Hinkley Point are currently running at about 60% but BE hopes that “boiler balancing” work will allow a phased increase to 70%.
The news came in the company’s first quarter results for the 2007/2008 financial year. “Capital investment to increase load beyond 70% will not be undertaken this year and is to be considered within the context of the ongoing life extension assessment for these stations. A decision on life extension will be made by 31 March 2008,” it said.
“Total non-routine nuclear losses in the period were 5.0TWh (being unplanned losses of 2.6TWh attributable to operations at Hinkley Point B and Hunterston B, losses of 0.5TWh attributable to other stations, and 1.9TWh losses at Hinkley Point B and Hunterston B that were planned at the start of the year) compared to 3.4TWh losses in the comparable period.”
The company described losses attributable to boiler problems as “significant”.
Hunterston and Hinkley’s twin units have been troubled by boiler tube cracking, and problems during restarts, such as anomalous temperature readings at Hunterston B1.
Related ArticlesOfficial figures show scale of Sellafield MOX Plant losses