Hunterston B nuclear reactor to restart

Here Scottish CND report on the news that one of the nuclear reactors at Hunterston is to be restarted, despite it being shut recently due to safety concerns.

Radiation Risks and Nuclear Power in Scotland

The Office of Nuclear Regulation have decided to restart Hunterston B nuclear reactor four. There are over 200 cracks in the reactor which was closed in October 2018 due to safety concerns. The announcement came on the day we released our latest report on nuclear power in Scotland which you can read here


Hunterston B nuclear power station is based in North Ayrshire and has been operational since 1976 and was due to be decommissioned in 2006, a date which has since been pushed back to at least 2023 – making Hunterston one of the oldest nuclear power stations in Europe.

Both its nuclear reactors (R3 and R4) have been out of operation due to safety reasons since March and October 2018 respectively. Now that R4 is due to restart with hundreds of cracks that exceeded government safety limits until the Office of Nuclear Regulation changed the goalposts to allow up to 700 cracks, we urge our members and supporters to take the actions listed below.

If there ever were to be a nuclear accident at Hunterston, the prevailing winds would take the radioactive plumes towards Glasgow and Edinburgh


Scotland has now reached a tipping point where almost all of our electricity can be generated from hydro-electric, wind, wave and solar sources. Nuclear electricity may be said to be carbon neutral when it is being generated but only because the uranium mining, plant construction, decommissioning and long-term management of nuclear waste are left out of the equation, along with the unique risks of this industry.


We demand that if reactor four is to be restarted that potassium iodate tablets be distributed to all members of the public within 50km. These tablets are used to stop the thyroid gland taking up radioactive iodine which may be released into the environment following a nuclear incident. This is standard practice in some countries.

We believe that both Hunterston B reactors should remain closed for good and that EDF and North Ayrshire Council should publish their plans for evacuation in the event of a nuclear accident.


Our Radiation Risks working group urge all our members and supporters to take the following action:

• Write (with copies to social media) to:
– the Chief Inspector of the Office of Nuclear Regulation
– the Chief Executive of the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA)
– your own MSP and the current Scottish Minister for Energy
– the Scottish Government’s Director of Energy and Climate Change

• Consider planning, organising and participating in demonstrations outside Hunterston B Nuclear Power Station

• Read the report ‘Radiation Risks and Nuclear Power in Scotland’ by our Radiation Risks working group via the link above

The Arran branch of CND meet monthly in Brodick. For more details email or