Concerns as EDF allowed more cracking within Hunterston's reactor

Ross Greer, Scottish Green MSP for West of Scotland, today (2 March) criticised the UK's Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) for giving the green light to increased cracking in the reactor of the Hunterston B nuclear power station in Ayrshire.

The ONR says the Periodic Safety Review for Hunterston by operators EDF is adequate. It allows for a doubling in the amount of cracked graphite bricks, which safety experts have warned could lead to nuclear fuel overheating, potentially resulting in a radiological release.

In January, Ross Greer published a report authored by an independent expert on nuclear safety, which concluded that despite it being probably illegal under international law, the Scottish public were being denied a say in the decision to keep Scotland’s oldest nuclear power station running.

Ross said: 

“News that EDF are to be allowed more cracking within Hunterston's reactor will concern residents across North Ayrshire, the West of Scotland and further afield. The lack of public consultation is simply unacceptable. 

“It’s disappointing that the Scottish Government have not spoken out on the issue. European law says all ageing nuclear power stations should have an environmental impact assessment comparing their continued operation against alternative sources of energy such as renewables, and that the public should be involved, but that hasn’t happened.

“We should be putting efforts into building our renewables capacity and the secure, long term jobs which come with it, reducing demand through energy efficiency measures and ensuring a jobs transition for nuclear workers at sites such as Hunterston.”