UK’s Heysham 1 nuclear reactor returns to service


The UK’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) granted permission for the Heysham 1 Reactor 1 to return to service almost five months after it was taken offline.
EDF Nuclear Generation Limited presented ONR with a safety justification for returning Reactor 1 to service with the affected boiler isolated from service. The ONR completed an independent assessment of the justification and the reactor was returned to service on January 10.
EDF Energy shut down the reactors at the Heysham 1 and Hartlepool plants in August 2014 after the discovery of cracks in the boiler spine at Heysham. The boiler spine supports the weight of an entire boiler. The Hartlepool plant uses a similar design. The other three reactors at Heysham 1 and Hartlepool were returned to service in November 2014.
Other gas-cooled reactors in the UK use a different boiler design without the spine and are made of different materials, so there was no risk to other reactors.
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