Western Daily Press, 06 February 2008

Anti-nuclear campaigners have called for a safety inspection of Hinkley Point power station amid fears its boiler system may be in need of repair.

Members of the Stop Hinkley group say they are concerned that sensitively placed boilers at Hinkley Point B will be put under extra pressure once the site's twin reactors are shut down later this year. Spokesman Jim Duffy said: "The boiler tubes were re-welded by teams of workers over several months but the plant is only allowed to operate at a 60 to 70 per cent output to try to reduce heat and pressure in the 30-year- old pipes.

"The boilers are housed inside the reactor pressure vessel alongside the nuclear reactors, which have been the subject of concern by the nuclear safety regulator."

Although British Energy has not indicated how often the boilers should now be inspected, the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate could order a check.

It is four years since a full inspection of an advanced gas-cooled reactor.

(Slight misunderstanding here. We're saying it's high time the boilers were regularly and fully inspected, which looks due to happen this year. On the other hand British Energy have said they'd like to get the boilers back up to 100 percent output which means extra pressure in the old, repaired pipes. They may opt to do this after this inspection, which would be worrying.)

http://www.westpress.co.uk/ and http://www.bridgwatertimes.co.uk/


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Page Updated 09-Feb-2008