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Last Updated: Monday, 25 September 2006, 10:19 GMT 11:19 UK
Earlier check for nuclear reactor
An inspection of nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point B power station in Somerset has been brought forward amid new safety fears.

It follows checks on reactors at Scotland's Hunterston plant, which showed problems with cracked pipes.

British Energy said it did not believe the position at Hinkley B - which has identical reactors - was as serious.

But as a prudent measure, the date of the station's three-yearly statutory inspection has been brought forward.

The advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGRs) at both Hunterston and Hinkley B are 30 years old.

The company said the level of cracking in boiler tubes at the Scottish plant was "above that expected." Repairs are currently being made to the defective pipes.

Hinkley B's two reactors provide 3% of the UK's electricity, but output has been cut by half, with the closure of one of them for early inspection.

The Somerset power station is due to be decommissioned in 2011.


SEE ALSO
Long-awaited barrage decision due
11 Jul 06 |  Somerset
Nuclear talk powers fresh debate
13 Jun 05 |  Somerset

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