December 18, 2018 / 1:39 PM / 8 months ago

EDF extends outages at British nuclear plant where cracks were found

LONDON, Dec 18 (Reuters) - EDF Energy has extended by several weeks outages at its Hunterston nuclear plant in Britain, where two reactors were taken offline after cracks were discovered in March and October.

The Hunterston B-7 reactor is now expected to return to service on April 30 while Hunterston B-8 is expected to be back online from March 31, EDF Energy said on its website.

No one from EDF Energy, owned by French enrgy group EDF, was available immediately to comment on why the outages had been extended.

The cracks had beeen found during routine inspections at the plant, which can produce enough electricity to power more than 1.7 million homes but is more than 40 years old.

EDF Energy’s 15 nuclear reactors provide about 20 percent of Britain’s electricity. Almost half of that capacity, including Hunterston, is due to go offline by 2025.

Britain’s Centrica also owns a 20 percent stake in the nuclear fleet but hopes sell this by the end of 2020.{nL8N1TG2H0]

Reporting by Susanna Twidale Editing by David Goodman

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