Nuclear reactors in northern England to be shut down due to faults via The Guardian

Defects found in boiler units lead to four reactors being taken offline, two at Heysham 1 and two at Hartlepool, for eight weeks

Four nuclear reactors at two large power plants in the north of England are to be shut down temporarily, after inspectors discovered a fault with a boiler unit.

EDF Energy said four reactors at its Heysham 1 and Hartlepool plants were to be shut down while investigations continued looking into the defect.

The outages mean a third of Britain’s nuclear capacity will be offline this week, following temporary maintenance work taking place at two of EDF’s other reactors in Scotland and Kent.


The fault, which was found in the reactor’s boiler units, was discovered by chance during routine inspections on one of the main reactors earlier this year.

EDF said in a statement: “Although routine inspections of other boiler spines have not previously indicated any similar defects, EDF Energy has taken the conservative decision to shut down Heysham 1 reactor 2 and Hartlepool reactors 1 and 2, that are of similar design, over the next few days to carry out further inspections in order to satisfy itself and the regulator that the reactors can be safely returned to service.”

The Heysham 1 plant in Lancashire was taken offline in January because of a faulty boiler pump. The outage is not thought to have affected power supplies in the area.

Last May, a reactor at Heysham 1 was shut down after smoke was seen coming from the plant.

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