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UPDATE 2-EDF Energy extends outages at UK's Dungeness B21, B22 nuclear reactors

(Updates with fresh company comment, more detail)

LONDON, March 8 (Reuters) - EDF Energy, owned by France’s EDF, has extended outages of its two Dungeness nuclear reactors in Britain by about six months to complete inspections on steam pipes and corrosion repairs, it said on Friday.

The 1.1 gigawatt (GW) Dungeness B site’s two reactors - unit 21 and unit 22 - have been offline for planned outages since late summer. The company has been carrying out inspections and maintenance of pipes carrying steam to the turbine.

The company is also trying to complete repair work on corrosion identified during inspections of safety back-up systems at the plant on the south coast of England.

Dungeness B-21 went out of service on planned maintenance in September and was scheduled to come back online in April. That outage has been extended to Sept. 30.

Dungeness B-22 went offline in August and was scheduled to come back in April. That has been extended to Oct. 15.

“Due to our long-term planning aimed at maximising the contribution of Dungeness B over the next decade and possibly beyond, we have decided to further extend the scope of our current workplan, particularly on inspections and maintenance of steam-line systems,” a company spokesman said.

“It should be noted our teams are working to earlier target dates on the station,” he added.

EDF Energy operates 15 nuclear reactors in Britain, providing about 20 percent of the country’s electricity.

Many of Britain’s nuclear plants are ageing. The Hunterston B plant in Scotland has been offline since last year due to cracks developing faster than expected in graphite bricks in reactor’s core. (Reporting by Nina Chestney Editing by David Goodman and Edmund Blair)

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