Tuesday, May 27, 2008

UK - "Fault" shuts nuclear power station

Hundreds of thousands of homes have suffered power cuts after a fault caused an unplanned shutdown at the Sizewell B nuclear power plant in Suffolk. Homes and businesses in London, East Anglia, Cheshire and Merseyside were affected between 11:00 BST [10:00 GMT] and 13:00 BST. The shutdown cut off supplies to the National Grid within minutes of another plant - the coal-fired Longannet power station in Fife - going offline. A National Grid spokesman said normal service was expected on Wednesday. A British Energy spokesman said the Sizewell B shutdown was caused by a fault with conventional equipment and not any part of the nuclear reactor. It is the first unplanned shutdown at Sizewell for more than three years. British Energy said there was no safety issue but could not confirm when the problem would be fixed. Sizewell provides around 3% of the UK's electricity.

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