HC Deb 03 July 1996 vol 280 cc456-7W
Mr. Clapham

To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) what are the long-term implications of the damaged fuel pins found in advanced gas-cooled reactor stations; and if he will make a statement; [35295]

(2) what recommendations the nuclear installations inspectorate made on the operation of the AGRs with known fuel pin problems; and what implications it identified for the emergency shut-down system; [35296]

(3) when he expects the NII inquiry into the fuel pin problem to be completed; [35297]

(4) when factors led to the omission of reference to fuel pin problems in British Energy's prospectus. [35298]

Mr. Eggar

There is no omission in the British Energy prospectus. Reference to fuel pin problems is made on page 66 under the heading "fuel brace fretting".

As the prospectus notes, British Energy is continuing to examine the significance of this issue at its AGR stations and its potential on future fuel utilisation.

The NII has carried out preliminary inquiries into wear on fuel pins resulting from fuel brace fretting and is satisfied that the AGR stations remain safe to operate and that there are no implications for the emergency shut-down system.

The NII has asked Nuclear Electric and Scottish Nuclear to provide further information on this phenomenon and will continue to monitor developments.

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