The Telegraph is reporting that the nuclear reactors at Heysham and Hartlepool that were taken offline because of cracking in their boilers are to stay out of commission for slightly longer than expected. However, more worryingly, when they do come back online they will not be running at full capacity.
The two twin-reactor plants at Heysham 1 and Hartlepool have been shut down since August amid safety fears following the discovery of cracks in one boiler structure at Heysham.
The ageing reactors are likely to be restarted in coming months at just 75pc-80pc of their usual output in order to prevent high temperatures causing further cracks, EDF said on Friday.
Both stations are in the 1GW capacity range, so we are looking at the loss of another 0.5GW of output, which could be as much as 1% of peak winter demand. Margins for winter 2015/16 were already expected to be as low as 2.5%.
I think National Grid are going to have to step up their efforts to get additional reserve capacity available.