Letter to the Hunterston SSG - 13 April 2021
13 April 2021
Dear SSG Member,
I am writing to confirm that, today, we received permission from the ONR for the restart of both reactors at Hunterston B power station.
I welcome the ONR’s decision to approve the graphite safety case, which will allow for a final period of generation from each unit of approximately six months meaning the station will come offline by our previously stated date of 7 January 2022.
We have carried out the most detailed investigation ever on this kind of reactor and the approved safety case has been subject to extensive scrutiny and testing, by EDF and independently. We have been able to demonstrate that even in the most extreme conditions our reactors will safely shutdown, including in the event of an earthquake larger than ever experienced in the UK.
Both units are currently offline for graphite inspections looking at 15% of the fuel channels in each reactor. The Reactor 3 inspections are complete. The results have been shared with the ONR and are well within the expectations we set out before the outage started. We will look to bring the reactor back online over the coming days. The Reactor 4 inspections are continuing and will also be reported to ONR.
Since Hunterston B came online 45 years ago, it has generated enough low carbon electricity to power all of Scotland’s homes for 31 years. It has avoided more than 100m tonnes of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere. That is like taking every car off Scotland’s roads for 19 years. It has been an integral part of the North Ayrshire community supporting the employment of thousands of people.
I am looking forward to a safe and successful final period of generation for the station before we move into the defuelling stage of the station’s life. I will continue to keep you updated on developments in this area at our meetings and by letter.
I hope this information is of use to you. If you have any questions please feel free to contact our External Relations Manager, Fiona McCall (firstname.lastname@example.org) and she can arrange for you to speak to me.