• 2 minutes Oil Price Could Fall To $30 If Global Deal Not Extended
  • 5 minutes Middle East on brink: Oil tankers attacked off Oman
  • 8 minutes CNN:America's oil boom will break more records this year. OPEC is stuck in retreat
  • 20 mins Emissions Need To Be Halved To Avoid 3C Warming
  • 3 hours The Pope: "Climate change ... doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain."
  • 12 hours Hormuz and surrounding waters: Energy Threats to the World: Oil, LNG, shipping markets digest new risks after Strait of Hormuz attack
  • 3 hours Coal Boom in Asia is Real and a Long Trend
  • 38 mins Solar Panels at 26 cents per watt
  • 11 hours Trudeau approves Trans Mountain Pipeline
  • 13 hours OPEC, GEO-POLITICS & OIL SUPPLY & PRICES
  • 7 hours Pioneer CEO Said U.S. Oil Production would be up to 15 mm bbls/day NOW if we had the pipelines. Permian pipelines STARTING Q3
  • 6 hours US to become net oil exporter in November: EIA
  • 6 hours The Magic and Wonders of US Shale Supply: Keeping energy price shock minimised: US oil supply keeping lid on prices despite global risks: IEA chief
  • 13 hours The Plastics Problem
  • 3 hours US Shale Drilling lacks regulatory body.
  • 5 hours Ireland To Ban New Petrol And Diesel Vehicles From 2030
  • 6 hours Magic of Shale: EXPORTS!! Crude Exporters Navigate Gulf Coast Terminal Constraints
The War Risk Premium For Oil Prices

The War Risk Premium For Oil Prices

Attacks in around the middle…

Russia Pushes Back Against “Freedom Gas”

Russia Pushes Back Against “Freedom Gas”

The global gas market has…

Britons Face Power Shortages As Two Nuclear Plants Cut Production

Two nuclear power plants in central England that have been shut down since the summer for safety reasons will resume operations shortly, but at reduced output to limit the risk of cracks in its boilers.

After a routine inspection in August found cracks in one boiler tower at Haysham 1 on England’s west coast, officials ordered the twin reactors there and at Hartlepool on the country’s east coast to shut down. When they’re restarted, they’ll run only at 75 to 80 percent capacity to prevent further cracks, according to the British utility that operates them, EDF Energy.

The two plants have met about 4 percent of Britain’s winter energy demand, but now the National Grid will have to resort to restarting older power plants whose operations have been suspended. Even so, power shortages in the coming winter and even next year are believed to be more likely because Britain has been retiring coal-fired power plants faster than it has been building less-polluting replacements.

Related: New Nuclear Fuel Rod Could Increase Output Of Existing Plants

In September, EDF said that once it finished more thorough safety checks on the reactors, their operations would be restarted gradually between late October and late December. On Oct. 17, however, EDF revised that scenario.

The utility said the cracked reactor at Heysham 1, which was supposed to have resumed operations in late November, probably wouldn’t restart until late December, although the undamaged Heysham reactor will start sooner than originally planned, on Nov. 22, not Nov. 30. It said restarting the two Hartlepool reactors also has been delayed slightly from the end of October to Nov. 9.

EDF said it is planning to do maintenance work at all the reactors during 2015 and 2016 to enable them to return to full power by the winter of 2016-17.

No work to restart any of the reactors can begin until EDF gets the approval from Britain’s independent governing body for nuclear energy, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR). A utility spokeswoman told the BBC, “EDF Energy has identified and proposed a return to service strategy and is in discussion with the ONR regarding the acceptability of our approach.”

Meanwhile, EDF will isolate the boilers that suffered the crack at Heysham 1 even as their reactor goes back online. “This reactor will initially return to service at the end of this year at 75 percent power, with work done on the isolated boilers during 2015 to raise power further,” the EDF spokeswoman said.

Related: CEO Of EDF Replaced By President Hollande Amid Nuclear Rethink

The ONR said in a statement that the cracks at Heysham 1 are in the “boiler spine,” which “supports the weight of an entire boiler, and its failure could lead to water entering the reactor vessel.”

“The potential worst consequences of water entering the reactor vessel is an over-pressurization of the reactor, which could result in lifting of the reactor pressure-relief valves,” the ONR statement said. “If this was to occur coincidentally with fuel damage, then there could be a direct path to the environment and a release of radiation.”

It stressed, though, that the chances of a release are “extremely low.”

By Andy Tully of Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News