A Letter to EDF and the Office for Nuclear Regulation on Hunterston B and the cracked graphite.
Chernobyl Could Never Happen Here ?
Hi Simone and all at EDF and ONR
Thank you for putting back the restart date of Reactor 4 to the 5th August from the 22nd July. This has made Scotland a safer place to be for an extra 2 weeks.
I ask that Reactor 4 and Reactor 3 which is now due to restart on the 1st October be postponed permanently.
I have written before and pointed out the weight loss, shrinkage and cracking in the graphite moderator and key structural element of the 2 reactors at Hunterston. I have pointed out the need for super articulated control rods to snake down the now distorted cores and raised the issue of graphite flakes potentially blocking the channels for control rods, cooling gas, information from sensors and the possibility of fuel elements becoming stuck in the core and the likelihood of fuel melt.
You have sent me replies to the effect that you have everything under control, have modelled everything and that you would not return the reactors to service if there were any doubts as to their safety .You have written and told me that what happened at Chrnobyl could not happen in Scotland as in this instance the Operators were unaware of what was going on in their reactor.
So I have been reading your latest ONR Quarterly report on Hunterston B http://www.onr.org.uk/llc/2019/hunterston-b-1.pdf and there’s seems to be an inordinate concern about shuttering on the buildings falling on people from 43 plus year old cladding and not a great deal of concern about this.
“During switching of 11kV electrical supplies for Reactor 3, the electrical supply to the gas circulators was lost resulting in loss of forced circulation to the reactor for short period whilst supplies were re-established. Investigations identified that a switch semaphore in the control room had indicated that an interconnector was closed when in fact the interconnector was open resulting in an interruption to electrical supplies when the supplies were switched. Reactor temperatures were monitored throughout the event and all technical specifications continued to be applied. There were no radiological consequences from this event as Reactor 3 has been shut down for a year and the cooling requirements were much reduced.”
Now forgive me but this looks like EDF Operators were not aware of what was going on with their Reactor as your control panel was not showing the correct state of the electrical connection to your cooling gas circulators …
and that unknowingly the gas circulators had been switched off.
Now tell me if I am wrong but weren’t the Operators at Chernobyl running a test to see if they could keep their cooling supply running from their turbines as they spun down when their accident occured and wasn’t the root cause of the 3 meltdowns at Fukushima due to the lack of non flooded back up diesel generators to maintain the cooling flow when the electricity grid supply to the site was cut due to the earthquake
and yet the ONR quarterly report was more concerned about falling building cladding !!!
The Quarterly Incident Says this
Quarterly Statement of Civil Incidents reported to ONR
1 JANUARY 2019 TO 31 MARCH 2019
During the reporting period from 1 January 2019 to 31 March 2019 there were no civil incidents at nuclear licensed sites within Great Britain that met the Ministerial Reporting Criteria (MRC) as defined within the Nuclear Installations (Dangerous Occurrences) Regulations 1965 and ONR guidance in relation to notifying and reporting incidents and events.
No incidents ! and yet..
“There were no radiological consequences from this event as Reactor 3 has been shut down for a year and the cooling requirements were much reduced.”
So Scotland and Northern England and Ireland got lucky because you had your Reactor shut down for a year already and you are just dealing with decay heat by consuming 18MW per hour to power your gas circulators from the grid – except for a while you weren’t !
If the ancient Reactor had been running your Operators like those at Chernobyl would have been unaware as the indicator was not showing the correct state of the cooling electricity supply.
I ask you for the safety of everyone in Scotland and beyond that these Reactors are mothballed for good.