EDF nuclear plants closed until winter amid blackout fears

Two UK nuclear power plants, Hartlepool and Heysham 1 in Lancashire, that were shut down after the discovery unexpected cracking in a boiler unit in early August may not restart until late December, EDF Energy has warned, heightening the risk of blackouts this winter. The reactors, which produce enough power to meet more than 4pc of winter demand, would only be returned to service gradually between the end of October and late December. The combined loss of the coal, gas and nuclear plantshas removed  3.7GW from the system, threatening to wipe out  spare capacity and trigger shortages.

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