Reactor boost for British Energy

Nuclear power firm British Energy has said it was ready to restart another reactor hit by technical issues.

The company has been dogged by long-term problems at its Heysham and Hartlepool sites, but said a "comprehensive" return to service for Reactor 1 at its Heysham 1 plant was due in the "coming days".

The firm, which is being bought by French giant EDF, also said last week it was ready to reopen Reactor 1 at Hartlepool.

Reactors at the two power stations have undergone detailed inspections since problems were discovered in October 2007.

The Heysham 1 go-ahead comes after approval from the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) to return the unit to service.

The company also expects to return the second reactor at Heysham 1 and Hartlepool's Reactor 2 to service in the coming weeks.

The closures followed the discovery of a broken wire on a boiler closure unit - which forms part of the nuclear reactor - leading to engineering modifications.

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