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Hinkley point B watch.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:30 pm    Post subject: Hinkley point B watch. Reply with quote

Both reactors at Hinkley B are shut down for inspection of the graphite core.
At present reactor 7 is forecast to re start on December 14 and reactor 8 to restart on November 30.

As discussed elsewhere, the shutdown of the two reactors at Hunterston for a similar inspection has been prolonged with numerous delays.

I have therefore started this thread in order that we might keep an eye on Hinkley B and see if it reopens as expected.
The two reactors at Hinkley are well beyond their original design life, and one limiting factor is the cracking of the graphite blocks that form the core.

Under normal operating conditions such cracks are of no consequence. The concern is that an earthquake could distort the core and prevent full or correct insertion of the control rods.
That in turn could prevent a safe and controlled shutdown.
Various work arounds are possible including articulated control rods that should enter a distorted core, or reviewing the original design and deciding that a greater number of cracks are acceptable than was originally considered to be acceptable.

The lost output from Hinkley B is about 2% of UK peak demand, and is of little concern in the near term as demand is reduced by the pandemic.
In the longer term though less capacity could increase the risk of shortages.
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
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