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Bradwell Nuclear Power Station

Volume 979: debated on Tuesday 19 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement about the defects in the Bradwell nuclear power station which have led to the closing down of both reactors.

Reactor 1 at Bradwell nuclear power station was shut down for planned statutory inspection and extended overhaul in May 1979. During this inspection some defects have recently been discovered in the bellows units of the bottom coolant gas ducts using newly developed ultrasonic techniques. The defects are in the welds attaching the bellows primary restraints to the duct walls. They are similar to those found at Dungeness A (the only other magnox station with similarly designed gas circuits), details of which were given in my answer to the hon. Member on 17 January 1980 —[Vol. 976, c. 826–8.]—The CEGB in consultation with the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate has considered it prudent to shut down Reactor 2 at Bradwell in advance of its next statutory inspection planned for September 1980 for similar investigations to be carried out.There has been no health hazard either to the public or to staff at the power station, and the defects are in places where the radiation levels permit investigative and remedial work without undue exposure of personnel. The inspection and repair will be subject to the approval of the NII and the station will not be returned to service until the Inspectorate is satisfied.