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Sizewell B nuclear reactor inspected for cracks

Inspections are now underway for cracks on Sizewell B’s nuclear reactor in Suffolk after defects were found on a similar reactor in Belgium last year.

The Office of Nuclear Regulation forced plant owner EdF Energy to carry out the inspections after defects were found on the Doel Three nuclear power plant, 25km north of Antwerp, after a routine inspection.

Sizewell B is the only operating reactor in the UK with a similar steel reactor pressure vessel.

EdF has now provided documentation comparing the production and inspection of the Doel Three reactor pressure vessel with the one at Sizewell B.

Initial findings show no defects similar to Doel Three, and the likelihood Sizewell B’s reactor pressure vessel developing similar defects as “significantly lower” due to measures taking during the forging production to avoid hydrogen defects.

A full assessment is due to be published in early 2013.

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