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Nuclear Power Stations

Volume 78: debated on Wednesday 1 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list those Magnox nuclear power stations which will reach 20 years' operation within the next two years.

The information is as follows:

  • Hinkley Point 'A'—(1985)
  • Trawsfynydd—(1985)
  • Dungeness 'A'—(1985)
  • Sizewell 'A'—(1986)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he will list those Magnox nuclear power stations which have been operating for over 20 years; whether Her Majesty's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate has re-endorsed the safety cases for those stations listed; and if he will make a statement;(2) what representations he has received from Her Majesty's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate concerning safety reviews of the older Magnox nuclear power stations operated by the Central Electricity Generating Board and the South of Scotland Electricity Board in order for their operation to continue beyond their original nominal design life of 20 years; and if he will make a statement.

I have received no representations from Her Majesty's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate concerning safety reviews of the older Magnox nuclear power stations operated by the CEGB and SSEB.The following Magnox nuclear power stations have been operating for over 20 years:

  • Calder Hall
  • Chapel Cross
  • Bradwell
  • Berkeley
  • Hunterston 'A'

The safety of nuclear power reactors in the United Kingdom is the subject of continuous assessment. Each nuclear power reactor is required by a condition of its nuclear site licence to be shut down every two years for examination, inspection, maintenance and testing. The reactor cannot be started up after its shut-down until Her Majesty's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate is satisfied that it is safe to operate and consent has been given by the Health and Safety Executive.

In addition, the NII and the licensees of these nuclear power stations agreed some years ago that a review would be undertaken by the licensee of each station's safety features and performance after some 20 years of operation. Such a review is either completed or under way for each station.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will instruct Her Majesty's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate to carry out a fully-detailed assessment of the safety cases for Heysham 2 and Torness nuclear power stations to the standard of assessment of the Sizewell B pressurised water reactor before these stations are allowed to operate.

Heysham 2 and Torness are the latest of a line of advanced gas cooled reactors of a design familiar to the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate and for which there have been many years of operational experience in the United Kingdom. They were licensed in 1980 by the Health and Safety Executive after a comprehensive assessment of the pre-construction safety reports by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate.The assessment of the safety case for Heysham 2 and Torness is being made to similar standards as those for Sizewell 'B'.