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Fears for British Energy privatisation

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British Energy (BE) has admitted only one of its power plants was working normally following its identification of 90 defects at one site and leaks at another.
Government plans to sell off the holding in the company are now in serious trouble, as the difficulties have cut share prices by a quarter.
The problems at BE sites include boiler cracking at Hunterston B and Hinkley Point B as well as underground leaks at Heysham 1 in Hartlepool and fuel supply problems at Dungeness B. Meanwhile Sizewell B, the newest of all the BE plants, is going through a statutory ‘outage’ period for repairs.
This latest fiasco comes as British Nuclear Group, which is also scheduled for privatisation, was fined £50,000 for safety lapses at Sellafield. It also raises questions about nuclear energy’s contribution to generating electricity this winter. British Energy has already admitted it would have to buy power itself on the open market to meet its supply obligations.

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