British Energy To Shut Dungeness Reactor?

British Energy PLC, the nuclear power company, said it will close a second reactor at its Dungeness B station in Kent from tomorrow for scheduled maintenance.

The move means both reactors at the station will be temporarily shut down.

A British Energy spokesman explained that one 550 megawatt (MW) unit at Dungeness was closed on Aug 7 for statutory maintenance. A second 550 MW reactor will go off tomorrow for a refuelling outage.

"It's purely routine. It's a planned shut down we've known about for a considerable amount of time," the spokesman told The spokesman declined to comment on how long the reactors will be down.

Last week British Energy shares plunged by 30% after it revealed it had closed down two reactors at Torness in Scotland due to technical problems with its coolant pumps. This led the group to cut its generation targets.

Meanwhile, the Business newspaper reported that British Energy is being stalked by US and German nuclear rivals.

Without citing sources it said US power companies Entergy, Constellation, Dominion and Florida Power and Light are all interested in British Energy's North American assets. It said Germany's RWE AG is also watching developments.

The British Energy spokesman described the report as "speculation". ©

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