A couple of small cracks are found in two of the 6,000 graphite blocks that constitute the moderator in one of Hunterston B’s nuclear reactors during a routine inspection.
The cracks were expected but deemed no danger to the reactor’s operation.
Consequently, the Nuclear Inspectorate allowed the station to restart after its maintenance shutdown.
However, from media reports, especially those on TV, one would think that there is a new and sudden danger that needs to be addressed.
It was made worse by being the lead story on most of the broadcasts.
This was a complete over- reaction by the mass media, which sees anything nuclear as newsworthy and eye-catching.
You report (7 October) the MP for North Ayrshire and Arran telling us that Hunterston needed to be kept under “continuous review”, as if it was not already, and the director of WWF thinks the revelation is evidence of the increased unreliability of nuclear power and how right we are to adopt renewables.
Nuclear power in the UK has proved both reliable and safe and has supplied much-needed carbon-free electricity for more than 60 years (38 years in the case of Hunterston B). It will probably safely continue in operation until its predicted closure in 2023.
There should have been plans to replace it and there is still time to do so.