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The six month closure of one of Britain’s oldest nuclear reactors will burn a £120m hole in the revenues of owner EDF Energy and has raised questions over the reliability of the country’s ageing nuclear fleet.

EDF said this week that it was taking reactor 3 of Hunterston B in Scotland offline for half a year, after inspections found more cracks than expected in the graphite bricks at the reactor’s core.

The plant is one of seven Advanced Gas-Cooling Reactors (AGRS) switched on during the 1970s and 80s, several of which have seen their lifetimes extended into the 2020s.

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