Page last updated at 18:15 GMT, Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Reactor repair work is completed

Hartlepool power station (picture from British Energy Group plc)
The Hartlepool station began generating electricity in 1983

Nuclear power firm British Energy says it has completed repairs to four of its reactors at two UK stations, which have been out of action for 17 months.

Two reactors at Hartlepool and two at Heysham were taken out of service when routine inspections found problems with boiler units in October 2007.

The repairs, estimated to have cost up to 70m, took three million man hours to complete, according to the company.

The two sites are capable of supplying electricity to 1.5 million homes.

Both sites started power generation in 1983 and have estimated decommissioning dates of 2014.

Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive officer of EDF Energy, of which British Energy is now a part, said: "This large, complicated project has been carried out skilfully and is an illustration of the expertise and commitment of the station staff and all of the British Energy team who supported their work.

"We will continue to invest in all the nuclear power plants to improve their performance and seek to extend their lives."

British Energy operates eight nuclear power stations and one coal-fired power station.

EDF Energy acquired British Energy in January 2009 and plans to build four new reactors with the first operational by the end of 2017.

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