Two of Britain’s nuclear power plants, which were shut down in August over safety issues will not be fully up and running for another two years – triggering fears of potential blackouts this winter.
The twin reactors at Heysham 1 and Hartlepool were shut down after cracks were discovered in a boiler at the Heysham site in Lancashire.
EDF Energy last night said that when the reactors, two at each site, are finally restarted in the coming months it will be at just 75 per cent to 80 per cent of capacity so as to prevent high temperatures causing further cracks at the ageing plants, increases the risk of power shortages this winter and next.
The margin between supply and demand inside UK’s electricity system is already very low due to the retirement of old nuclear and coal plants. The temporary closure of the reactors at Heysham 1 and Hartlepool, which produce enough power to meet about 4 per cent of peak demand during the winter, has already forced National Grid to bolster supplies this winter by firing up mothballed power stations.
The problems highlight concerns about Britain’s ageing power stations with no new reactors having been built since 1995.
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Blog source information taken from Daily Mail article, 16/10/2014.