British Energy plans more nuclear plant stoppages

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

LONDON, Feb 4 (Reuters) - British Energy will inspect three more reactors at its Hunterston B and Hinkley Point nuclear power stations later this year after stopping one unit over the weekend for boiler checks, a spokeswoman for the company said on Monday.

Hunterston in Scotland and Hinkley Point in southwest England were shut down all last winter for boiler repairs and have been running at just 60-70 percent of their capacity since being reopened last spring.

One other reactor at Hunterston and both at Hinkley will be checked at some point this year which means they will have to be shut down unless lready stopped for other work.

"The Unit 3 boiler inspection outage at Hunterston is the first... We will be doing the same inspections at the other three units," the spokeswoman said. "At least one of these will be undertaken as part on a statutory outage."

She would not say when the other plants would be stopped for the planned inspections or how long the work would take.

British Energy's nuclear plants can produce up to one fifth of Britain's power when they are all fully operational. (Reporting by Daniel Fineren)

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