UPDATE 2-British Energy's Torness nuclear plant shuts

(Recasts, adds background from paragraph seven)

LONDON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - British Energy's BGY.L Torness-2 nuclear reactor in Scotland unexpectedly shutdown at 1329 GMT on Tuesday because of boiler issue, a spokeswoman for the company said.

Engineers were looking into why a boiler unit tripped, causing the reactor to stop, a spokeswoman for the company said.

“All shutdown sequences operated correctly and satisfactorily and the reactor is safely shutdown and cooling and engineers are still looking into the cause,” she said in a statement.

“We are currently assessing the situation and are working on a re-start plan. We are also determining whether we will take the opportunity to carry out additional maintenance work while the unit is off.”

Last week the reactor, one of two at the power station on the east coast of Scotland, was run at half its normal output while being refuelled.

The refuelling had already been completed and the plant’s output raised before Tuesday’s trip.

British Energy operates eight nuclear power stations built since 1965 and in recent years has struggled with cracks in boilers and other faults linked to ageing.

Last October the company discovered corrosion in concrete and steel plugs in the top of the boilers that surround the reactor cores at its Hartlepool and Heysham 1 power stations.

The company’s Hunterston and Hinkley Point power stations were shut down all last winter to repair boiler cracks and have been running at just 60-70 percent of their capacity since being reopened last spring.

British Energy’s nuclear plants can produce up to one fifth of Britain’s power when they are all fully operational. (Reporting by Daniel Fineren)


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