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Repair plans drawn up for Sizewell

PUBLISHED: 13:33 26 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:53 06 July 2010

ENERGY bosses have drawn up a repair plan that will see its nuclear reactor returned to service, it was announced today (Friday, March 26).

Sizewell B power station had to be shut down as a safety precaution last week when higher than normal moisture levels were detected in a containment building.

ENERGY bosses have drawn up a repair plan that will see its nuclear reactor returned to service, it was announced today (Friday, March 26).

Sizewell B power station had to be shut down as a safety precaution last week when higher than normal moisture levels were detected in a containment building.

EDF Energy, which runs the facility, has confirmed a repair plan has been drawn up - although they have still declined to say exactly when it will be back up and running.

Jim Crawford, station director, said: “I am delighted with the progress that has been made in our investigation into the cause of the event.

“The next stage will be to implement the programme of work required to bring the station safely back to service.”

EDF has also declined to say how much the shut down of the reactor is costing the company - although it could be as much as hundreds of thousands of pounds each day.

Spokesman Gordon Bell said the problem relates to one of the heaters associated with a component known as the pressuriser.

“This component is not part of the reactor pressure vessel but is connected to the cooling circuit,” he said. “Early indications show that repair techniques previously deployed at similar power stations can be carried out at Sizewell.

“As usual, the company doesn't comment on the return to service date as this is commercially sensitive in the electricity market within which it operates.

“Sizewell B, like all other stations within EDF Energy's fleet, operates to strict technical specifications and once indications of an increased moisture level were indentified the conservative decision to manually shutdown the reactor was made to ensure the station remained within these technical specifications.

“This was carried out according to plan and at no time was anybody's safety at risk.”

He said the station had maintained contact with key stakeholders throughout the shut down and informed community groups last week.

Representatives from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have been on site and together with officials from the Environment Agency are satisfied with Sizewell's response to the incident.

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