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British Energy says Torness nuclear boiler ok

LONDON, Jan 23 (Reuters) - The unexpected shutdown of British Energy's BGY.L Torness-2 nuclear plant on Tuesday was caused by a common reactor trip and not due to a boiler problem at another company atomic plant, a company spokeswoman said.

The company said late on Tuesday the reactor in Scotland had shut down after a trip in a boiler quadrant, reviving memories of boiler problems which kept other nuclear reactors run by the company shut all last winter.

But the spokeswoman said on Wednesday that although the trip had been caused by a glitch in the “boiler area,” the boiler itself was not the problem.

“It was a very routine cause of trip which will be detailed once the unit returns to service,” he said, declining to give a time frame for the restart.

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

Its 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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