EDF Energy said the Heysham 1 and Hartlepool nuclear power plants may be restarted in phases between the end of October and the end of December 2014.
The plants were shut down when a crack was discovered in the boiler spine at Heysham 1. Since both the Heysham and Hartlepool plants use a similar design, the Hartlepool unit was shut down as well for inspections. Other gas-cooled reactors in the UK have a different boiler design without the spine and are made from different materials, so there was no risk to other reactors.
EDF Energy put into place a detailed a fully resource boiler inspection program for both sites and further boiler inspections are now underway. Engineers have finished the first two inspections and found no defects on the spines.
Before the four reactors can restart, the program must complete the inspections to verify if there are further defects, understand the cause of the crack found in the Heysham 1 boiler spine, develop detailed designs and techniques for modifications to mitigate the impact of any defects, and implement those modifications if necessary.
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