Campaigners slam Hinkley reopening

By Chris Alder , Bridgwater Mercury, 7th March 2007

ANTI-NUCLEAR campaigners have condemned proposals to reopen Hinkley B nuclear power station after repairs taking six months.

Operators British Energy closed the power station in September after cracks were discovered in pipes in the boiler system of one of Hinkley B's two reactors.

Bosses at the station then brought forward a three-yearly statutory inspection of the second reactor as a prudent measure. British Energy's shares plummeted 24% at the news.

Jim Duffy, of the Stop Hinkley campaign group, said: "This power station is already well past its effective life and should be closed down for good."

John MacNamara, spokesman for British Energy, said: "We are not allowed to operate any power station if there's any question mark over safety.

"If any station is not fully safe, it does not get permission to operate.

"Our responsibility to the safety of the public and our staff members is always our number one priority," he added.

The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate is expected to make its decision by the end of the month.

Hinkley Point B , which costs about £1m a day to run, passed its thirtieth birthday this year, considered the design life of advanced gas cooled reactors.

It provides about 3% of Britain 's electricity alone.

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