setback for Hinkley project after nuclear reactor problems revealed
have this week called for the multi-billion pound Hinkley Point
C project near Burnham-On-Sea to be scrapped after technical problems
were identified with the nuclear reactors being designed for the
head of France's nuclear regulator said weak spots found in the
nuclear reactors designed by France's Areva are "very serious"
and could prove costly to rectify.
'anomalies' found in the bottom and lid of the reactor vessel
could reduce the resistance of the metal, according to Pierre-Franck
Chevet, head of the ASN regulator.
"This is a serious, even very serious, anomaly as it affects
an absolutely crucial reactor component on which no risk of rupture
can be taken," he was quoted as saying in the French press.
has identified weak spots in the steel of the European Pressurised
Reactor (EPR) it is building for EDF in Flamanville, France. Mr
Chevet said that a similar Areva forging technique had been used
for five other EPRs either planned or being built.
of these are for Taishan, China and another two are earmarked
for Hinkley Point. Components have also been manufactured for
one for Calvert Cliffs in America. Areva was not immediately available
to confirm whether the vessels for the Hinkley Point project had
already been manufactured.
the Stop Hinkley campaign group's spokesman Alan Jeffery said
this week: "EDF Energy should cut its losses and give up
on Hinkley C now, so that the south west can get on with developing
a sensible sustainable energy strategy."
tackle climate change effectively we need to get started on energy
efficiency and renewable energy programmes now, not waiting around
for the nuclear industry to sort out its problems first."
don't need this massive project that is going to leave us with
a legacy of highly dangerous nuclear waste and radioactive emissions
into our environment."
added: "It now seems inevitable that the Hinkley investment
decision will be postponed yet again until the issue of the safety
of the French and Chinese pressure vessels has been resolved."
EPR is a new-generation pressurised water reactor, built to resist
the impact of a commercial airliner crash.