EDF Energy has extended two planned outages at the UK’s Hinkley Point B to June to complete further inspections of the reactor cores.
A planned outage at the 480MWe Hinkley Point B-8 nuclear reactor has been extended by three months. The reactor went offline on 21 February and was originally scheduled to return to service on 17 March. However, the restart date has now been extended to 5 June. A planned outage from April at Hinkley Point B-7 reactor has been extended from 19 May to 20 June.
The reactors at Hinkley and Hunterston are both advanced gas cooled reactors (AGRs). The reactors require inspections after cracks developed faster than expected in graphite bricks in the reactor core at EDF Energy’s Hunterston B-7 reactor.
Earlier in February, EDF Energy extended an outage at Hunterston B-7 to 10 April. The reactor has been out of service since 2018 after routine inspections found cracks in its graphite core. The restart of Hunterston B-7 has been delayed several times since. It was previously scheduled to come back online on 28 February.
The UK Office of Nuclear Regulation is monitoring the situation.
Photo: Two AGR reactors at Hinkley Point B will remain out of service until June (Photo: EDF Energy)