Heysham’s dodgy old reactor shut down again in “unplanned outage”

Fairfield …View of Heysham Saturday 25th July 2015
Fairfield …View of Heysham Saturday 25th July 2015


A nuclear reactor has gone offline in an unplanned outage, its operator has confirmed. The 660-megawatt reactor at the Heysham 2 site, near Morecambe, Lancashire, was taken offline at 13:48 BST because of “operational requirements”, EDF Energy told the BBC.
The reactor will be offline for the next seven days, the company added.
The cause of the unplanned outage has not yet been established and an investigation is under way”.

Heysham is already into borrowed time…

Previously…on Radiation Free Lakeland

Heysham’s Old Boiler – “Nothing to Worry About” say BBC
Posted on August 11, 2014
Tonights BBC Northwest news treated us to some brilliant propaganda in the form of Malcolm Grimston saying “there is nothing to worry about.” Malcolm Grimston is the guru who is an expert on the “public perception of nuclear.” He is wheeled out by the BBC when the nuclear industry has a bad bit of news to impart and wants a safe pair of hands.

The contrast between BBC Northwest’s often critical stance on fracking and its entirely toadying approach to nuclear is becoming difficult to ignore.

Local architect Mo Kelly has been doing the job that our supposed investigative journalists should be doing. The following is correspondence sent to the Garstang Courier:

Please find my letter dated 2 July 2014 sent to Fiona Finch at Garstang Courier, which to my knowledge was not published at the time. My letter gives more detail around what EDF are now acknowledging is not an “anomaly” but more specifically – a “fault ” in a boiler (a “crack in a boiler” according to ITV lunchtime news)

Please note Ian Stewart Station Director of Heysham 1’s reply to me at the Local Community Liaison Council meeting of 23 May 2014.

I asked the question ” Would Heysham 1 have to be decommissioned if the anomaly cannot be resolved ie. if the fault cannot be rectified?” and Ian’s answer to me was “Yes”

Please also note that EDF are leaning on the Office for Nuclear Regulation to actually change the safety limits on the performance of the graphite brick within the reactor core. These graphite bricks, like the now failing boilers, are another safety feature built into these now ageing AGR reactors to ensure their safe operation (see attached email)

As a concerned local resident and reader of your newspaper, I have to question recent headlines in both Lancaster Guardian and Morecambe Visitor “Nuclear is here to stay” and “Looking to a long nuclear future”. There are over 180,000 of us living within a 10 mile radius of the four elderly AGR reactors at Heysham 1 and 2.

I am writing to demand that EDF places public safety as paramount above any desire to continue the operation of failing, unsafe and inefficient out of date AGR nuclear reactors.

4 thoughts on “Heysham’s dodgy old reactor shut down again in “unplanned outage”

  1. In view of the statement that Heysham is the only site with more than one operational AGR, does anyone know if both the Hinkley B AGR reactors are currently operational?

  2. Keep us posted Marianne. There is no doubt that these AGR’s are getting old & tired. EDF will keep telling us about the millions they are spending on upgrades/refurbishment, but the critical graphite moderator and large parts of the boiler tube assembly within the reactor are impossible to refurbish/replace. There will be many other vital safety systems that will be reaching end of life & can be replaced but they will not want to unless they are forced to. They will use their standard probabilistic reduced time at risk for the last few years argument to do nothing. We just have to remain resilient ourselves & keep the pressure on. It all adds to their costs, whilst Renewbles gets cheaper everyday.
    Peter Smith Retired Head E/C&I Hinkley Point’A’&’B’ Power Stns; member Stop Hinkley; Greenpeace;FoE.

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