08 May Are cracks appearing in our generation capability?
News that cracks have been found in the graphite core of Huntersdon B nuclear reactor in Ayrshire is bad news for EDF who will lose a possible £ 120 m of revenue while checks are carried out. They will also be hoping that Hinckley Point B gets a clean bill of health when checks currently underway are completed, particularly as EDF are now ramping up construction of Hinckley C.
These cracks are expected over time and were found as part of routine inspections so there are no immediate safety concerns but, leaving aside the financial worries for EDF, what are the implications for the UK?
Well nuclear provides only 20% of our generation capacity at the moment and that will continue to diminish, but we are not ready to take up the slack yet in our generation mix as coal is also being phased out to meet carbon emission targets.
It may mean that we have to increase and therefore incentivise more rapid renewables growth and we all know where the funding for that will fall.
The bank holiday will have helped boost solar generation but probably at the expense of wind as a huge high sat over the country.
It is a complex generation web and we will need to fill all these cracks one way or another.