UK regulator approves restart of Heysham I unit 1

13 January 2015

The UK's Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has granted permission for Heysham I unit 1 to return to service following the discovery last year of a crack in a boiler spine in the reactor. EDF Energy returned the unit to service on 10 January, ONR said.

Heysham I unit 2 and two reactors at Hartlepool, which were shut down as a precautionary measure, returned to service in November. The Hartlepool units are operating at reduced load to limit boiler temperatures.

In a statement yesterday, ONR said that EDF Nuclear Generation Limited had presented the regulator with a safety justification for the return to service of Heysham I unit 1. ONR said it had completed an independent assessment of this justification and was satisfied that EDF had demonstrated the continued safe operation for this reactor, with the affected boiler isolated from service.

The regulator said it would publish its Project Assessment Report outlining its decision in due course.

In early August, EDF Energy said it had shut down Heysham I unit 1, in northwest England, in June after discovering a fault in a boiler spine and taken the "conservative decision" to halt the second reactor there, and two at its Hartlepool site in the northeast of England, "which are of a similar design." At that time, EDF Energy said it expected the units to remain closed for about two months while investigations are carried out.

After completing inspections of the boilers at the affected units, EDF Energy presented the ONR with a safety justification for the restart of Heysham I unit 2 and the two reactors at Hartlepool.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News