In what has been the company’s largest maintenance program ever, significant boiler inspection and repairs were carried out on both the advanced gas-cooled reactors.

The work on Hunterston B Reactor-3 was completed in May 2008 with power output increased from around 59% to 70%. Reactor-4 returned to service on August 16, 2008. This unit was running at around 61% before the outage and has now also successfully achieved 70% output.

During the three-month Reactor-4 outage, an investment of GBP13.7 million was made on replacing turbine rotors, pipework and general maintenance. British Energy said that it is developing strategies for raising the load beyond 70% in the future although no timescales have been agreed upon yet.

Bill Coley, British Energy’s CEO, said: I commend everyone at Hunterston B and the entire British Energy team who has supported them. This has been the largest outage British Energy has conducted and getting these units up to 70% load is testament to all the investment we are putting into the plants, improving our human performance and work processes and further enhancing our nuclear safety culture.