decision to extend the life of Hinkley B 'raises safety concerns'
Energy's decision to extend the life of its Hinkley B reactor,
near Burnham-On-Sea, by seven years has been condemned by anti-nuclear
campaigners this week.
Point B is now set to remain operational until 2023 instead of
ceasing power generation in 2016 as first planned.
Simon from the Stop Hinkley campaign group said after Tuesday's
announcement: "The decision to prop up the aging and cracked
reactor at Hinkley B well past its sell-by date is potentially
very hazardous for all of us."
and Centrica may want to squeeze every last drop of profit out
of it, but the potential for a nuclear mishap at Hinkley B increases
exponentially with age. We should remember that the oldest of
the reactors at Fukushima Daiichi had been given a 10 year life-extension
by government regulators just weeks before the tsunami caused
cracked diesel generators to fail, leading to a collapse of the
an EDF spokesman rejected the concerns, telling Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"Hinkley Point B always operates in a safe state and if there
are ever any doubts the regulator has the powers to shut it down.
The plant will be managed in accordance with the conditions of
the Site Licence to the satisfaction of ourselves and the independent
Nuclear Regulator. Indeed, we are implementing a number of safety
enhancements to the plant to ensure safety is maintained to the
end of life."
safety of our plants is kept under constant review. We are required
to satisfy the independent UK Regulator that the plants are safe
to re-start from their periodic outages every three years, irrespective
of lifetime extension plans."
EDF Energy chief executive Vincent de Rivaz added: "This
decision will bring significant benefits to the local community
in terms of jobs and additional economic activity. We have committed
to investing a further £300m a year in the eight-strong
nuclear fleet. Our nuclear generation business provides work for
more than 300 companies in the supply chain and around 90 per
cent of our total £650m annual spend in the supply chain
goes to British companies."
The B station employs around 535 full time staff, including 44
apprentices, as well as 220 full time staff from contract partners.
The wage bill alone is an estimated £40m a year which goes
into the local economy.
a new visitor centre, located in Bridgwater's Angel Place shopping
centre, was also officially opened on Tuesday by Vincent de Rivaz.
As well as offering guided tours of the Hinkley Point B station,
the new centre aims to catch peoples imaginations and provide
an introduction to the nuclear industry by using hands-on displays
and interactive aides. There are also classroom facilities for
local school students to learn more about nuclear power.