Plant update from British Energy

7 January 2007

Boiler inspections at Hinkley Point B and Hunterston B power stations, which have suffered extensive boiler tube cracking problems, have been largely completed, UK nuclear operator British Energy reports.

The results of the boiler tube bifurcation inspections at all 4 units at Hunterston B and Hinkley Point B were broadly in line with previous expectations.

To provide baseline data for the boiler safety case, boiler management strategy and life extension decisions, other boiler tube components were inspected which revealed a “small number” of defects requiring repair. Repair of these components has been completed at Unit 4 of Hinkley Point B and has yet to be completed at Unit 4 of Hunterston B. Further inspections at both Unit 3 reactors will be carried out before the return to service of all 4 units at 70% of full capacity, expected by the end of March 2007. However, British Energy is planning to bring forward the work intended for the planned outage of both units at Hunterston B in May 2007.

Meanwhile, work to replace cast iron pipe work related to the cooling water system at its Hartlepool power station has now been completed and one unit has already returned to service.

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