ONR is aware of EDF Energy’s decision to shut down its reactors at the Heysham 1 and Hartlepool sites in response to the identification of unexpected cracking in a boiler spine of Heysham 1 Reactor 1. The shut downs will allow the licensee to undertake accelerated inspections of all of the boilers in each of the reactors, which are a similar design, and to fit equipment that will enable monitoring of the condition of the boiler spines.
ONR is satisfied that EDF Energy is taking appropriate and conservative action in the interests of continued nuclear safety, and that they are seeking to obtain positive confirmation of the condition of the boilers. There has been no release of radioactive material and no persons have been injured.
As the UK nuclear regulator, ONR will require an acceptable safety case from EDF Energy before the planned return to service of these four reactors.