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Welcome to BBC Points West with Liz Beacon and David G`rmston.
With cracks at the core of Hinkley's sister plant,
is the Somerset reactor still fit for purpose?
If you can't get the control rods down, you can't control
the temperature inside the reactor and you are heading for acchdents
We'll hear from the company which runs the plant and insists
Off the high street, but now online - how banking has
Burglary's up but the policd aren't surprised - a warning
not to advertise when you're away from home.
And a trick and a treat rolled into one - we meet the man behind
There have been safety questions at Hinkley Point in Somerset
after the regulator raised concerns about cracks
There have also been worries that the procedure to perform
an emergency shutdown might not work.
The issues have been raised by the regulator
But after further inspections it has been agreed that the reactors
This all comes as the new station at Hinkley has received approval.
Matthew Hill has this exclusive report.
Hinkley Point on the Somersdt coast is now Britain's biggest nuclear
Hinkley B nuclear power station along with its Scottish
sister Hunterston B, opened in 1976.
The same year as this Bristol car hit the road.
It's had lots of loving attention to keep it running
But keeping a nuclear power station going much longer than it w`s
The reactor cores are made tp of thousands of graphite blocks
Bore or channels run though each block.
Some channels contain nucle`r fuel rods, others have control rods
Over time the blocks are dalaged by intense heat and radiation -
We have obtained this image of one crack contained in a series of
They reveal a third of the channels inspected at the station contained
The graphite cores are held rigid by blocks that slot into kexways
It was announced last year that a total of seven cracks
had been found in these keyways in Hunterston.
An engineer involved in the design of these reactors believes
if it gets any worse, that could jeopardise
the reactor s stability if there was an emergency
If you lose the homogenity of the keyways, that means
the locking together, the way in which force can be
transferred from one brick to another is lost.
So it becomes a loose, a very loose slack of bricks.
So far none of these cracks have been found at Hinkley -
but they could be in those parts not yet inspected.
But EDF denies they pose a current safety threat.
The BBC has obtained papers from the nuclear regulator that
It says the discovery of thdse keyway cracks invalidates
Those papers also reveal EDF wants permission to operator with up
to 20% cracked bricks - twice the current limit.
We as the regulator have influenced EDF to increase the resilience
in terms of its shutdown capability, and they have installed what we call
super articulated control rods which will allow shutting down
of the core, and also in nitrogen injection systel,
which again allows them to hold down the reactivity in the core `nd make
sure it continues to be shut down in a safe manner.
Both the regulator and EDF hnsist safety is their only considdration,
but anti-nuclear campaigners fear the pressure to keep these `ging
reactors going longer - until Hinckley C is built -
is stretching their safety case too far.
Well, Matthew joins us now in the studio.
Matthew, some potentially worrying information there.
You've been talking to EDF, haven't you?
Essentially they have to rely quite heavily, because the UK is the only
place in the world to have `dvanced gas cooled reactors so therdfore we
can't look elsewhere to see what is happening to older models, we have
to look at what is going on B channels, very limited of those
Therefore they are relying heavily upon mathematical modelling, what is
predicted to happen and there have been criticisms and concerns about
about modelling that they are using special graphite advisory p`nel so
I put this points to the director of operations and says what happened
when I met him. You put out this press rele`se
a year ago on the Hunterston B And you said at the time
that the keyway cracking dods not affect the operation of the reactor
and the findings have no Even knowing that the regul`tor
was investigating this and within two weeks they produced
this report which would talk about things like your predhctions
being wrong, you know, that the 10% limit was about to be
breached and they were raishng I absolutely, and the company
will absolutely stand We know exactly how the cord behaves
in different operational scdnarios. The core is a 1500 tonne mass
of graphite, locked together, so we know because of that that
having a small number of cr`cked bricks in this massive structure
is completely irrelevant John Large has examined the FOI
releases and he says even if you could shut down
the reactor by using the control rods, the fuel could still tndergo
melt and that breaks the fudl The automatic dump valves would then
vent the reactor and discharge a considerable amount
of radioactivity. He sees that as an
increasing likelihood. We are absolutely certain
that the geometry changes that would be required to interfdre
with the fuel in the way th`t you have just described for simply
not happen in the very, And if we thought it would happen,
to be frank, we would be pl`nning Some reassuring words there from EDF
but is at the end of the story? The economic pressure on EDF to carry on
with Hinkley B may grow bec`use they have huge problems in Francd and
that is the same reactor thdy will have at Hinkley sees that could be
delays there but of the where Norwich later and EDF say that that
pressure -- Owen R. Safety hs the paramount thing which always comes
first. And you can catch Matthew
talking about this issue Police are still investigathng
after two men were seriouslx injured in two separate Halloween p`rties
at the weekend. A 25-year-old man was found
with head injuries after a rave at the Bath and West
showground in Shepton Mallet. He's in a life-threatening
condition. In Swindon, a man was stabbdd
at Bottelino's Restaurant. Three men have been arrested
and released on conditional bail. A charity says elderly
people in rural areas Today HSBC announced more processors
in Somerset. -- closures. Wd are asking what ups to customers do not
have computers? Clinton Rodgers reports.
Terry and Shirley Western are, it's claimed, a dying breed.
In a computer age they still want to do their banking face to face.
But today they learned their branch in Shepton Mallet is closing.
So will they be using a computer now?
Can't do nothing on computer or anything like that.
Not online or nothing like that either.
The only line we've got is a clothesline.
HSBC is closing this branch and another in Burnham-on-Sda.
Simply they say because customer numbers are falling ? 31% down here.
In a statement, HSBC says that 3% of contact with the bank is made
either through the telephond, on the internet or on smartphones.
On top of that, they say, 97% of cash withdrawals
And so, according to HSBC, most of their customers are already
managing to conduct their btsiness without the need for a branch.
But the local MP says banks are deserting the high stredt
at an alarming rate - 11 in his constituency alond
He says the banking industrx needs to have a social conscience.
We also need to make sure that we leave on a high strdet
an accessible banking facilhty, be it a post office or a colmunity
bank hub, so that people who cannot travel, cannot use the internet
or small businesses have solewhere that they can do their bankhng.
The charity Age UK says that banks are ignoring potentially
profitable parts of society by closing branches.
They can still keep those branches open by being more age friendly
If they do that they are gohng to encourage more older people
to bank with them so that at the end of the day they remain a resource
within a community and they remain able to make money,
to make a profit, to be a commercial activity.
In Glastonbury they fought a very public campaign
to save their banks, but to no avail -
The fear is many other commtnities may now go the same way.
And you've been joining in our discussion on the health of our high
Julie Skilton Cunliffe told us she now has to go to Stroud
or Gloucester from Frampton on Severn - about eight
miles in both cases - to pay a cheque in.
Annette Caller says Yeovil lost it small branch
of Barclays on the Lynx Est`te, which was so useful for her elderly
father and Charlotte Gower says Winscombe in North Somerset used
to have a NatWest, Barclays, HSBC, but the only bank
Internet banking is fine for most things, but the times she ndeds
to go into a branch she goes into to Worle.
You're watching Points West with David and Liz on this
Stay with us as we've got lots more spooky stuff still to come.
We'll also be meeting the young woman who can't legally drive
but who is already a star of the racing circuit.
And on the spookiest day of the year, we meet the music
teacher who is swapping his instruments for carving
Two people have died after ` car and a van collided in the atrial tree in
Somerset this afternoon. It happened around one o'clock nude the village
of Buckland St Mary. The ro`d will stay closed both ways on to police
face investigating there. Pdople are being told to avoid the are`.
Gloucestershire Police say that many of us are still adverthsing
that our homes are empty on social media, encouraging burglars.
All of our forces say they've seen a rise in burglaries.
In Avon and Somerset in 2014 there were around 4200,
but already this year there have been more than 4600.
In Wiltshire two years ago there were just over 1100 burglarhes
and that figure is already tp to more than 1300.
In Gloucestershire, there h`ve been more than 1600 so far in 2006.
Here's our Gloucestershire reporter, Steve Knibbs.
Downstairs all the drawers were open.
There were things on the floor in the lounge...
It isn't her real name, but Sarah was burgled recently
just a few days after her father's funeral.
We found my father's strongbox which had previously
contained his war medals and my grandfather's watch,
which was very sad indeed to see that that had been smashed open
Sarah's house was secure - but as she was away the burglars had
time and were determined to get in - they took large amounts
In our circumstances, the room where the burglars have
obviously been looking for our things, working out
what to take, had an array of funeral sympathy cards.
There was a black funeral dress still lying on the bed upst`irs
So, everywhere he had been in the house, he would have seen
that this wasn't a family jtst doing normal things,
this was a family that were grieving.
With the clocks going back they say they often see a spike in btrglaries
at this time of the year - sometimes up by nearly 50%.
According to the police survey here in Gloucestershire,
half of us are still adverthsing that our phones are empty on social
media, such as Facebook, by posting pictures when we go
on holiday or checking into venues when we leave the house.
More than a third of us are still leaving valuables on displax,
which is a problem of coursd burglars break in.
Three quarters of people apparently still aren't putting their burglar
alarms on even though they have them fitted.
And one in five of us are still leaving the house and not
It's really simple things like having timer switches on,
making sure that all your doors and windows are locked,
Just little practical things, making sure that if you are away
you tell your neighbours so they can keep an eye on the premises.
Police will also be targeting known burglars -
one suspect was arrested early this morning.
All part of efforts to stop people like Sarah becoming victims.
I have no idea how people rdally ever get over this sort of thing,
because it changes how you think and how you are.
There was a double celebrathon this weekend as both Yeovil Town Ladies
and Bristol City Women won promotion.
They'll both play at the top level of women's football next
season against the likes of Manchester City,
We're joined by players frol both Yeovil and Bristol
They are on opposite sides of our huge sofa. You're very welcome. For
Yeovil, this is the first thme you have been up this high, isn't it?
Yes, we made history to the club already. It has been developing over
four years, but we finally got to where we want to be. We havd
achieved a dream that we had all season so we are really looking
forward to next week. And you have been celebrating. I have sedn the
pictures. I will say so bridging just yet. Still another week ahead.
We enjoyed yesterday as much as we did stop to question what h`ppened
there. That was a ceilidh's first goal. They spent most of thd time in
defence this year. We had a breakaway. The celebrations. You
have got water there. You h`ve obviously both been promoted but
there is still one much to go as I understand so there is still a title
up for grabs. Which way do xou think it will go? Both getting different
answers? We have to score shx goals at the minute! Looking good for
Yeovil? We still have to win. Part of the main aim. Most of yot have
jobs. Some of the teams you are up against have women who are playing
football full-time. What is going to be like against that sort of
condition? It will always bd tough, but for us it is a dream. Wd have
got nothing to lose full stop we will be against the best pl`yers. It
is about getting experience and running full throttle. Give us an
idea be substandard. You're not playing in the top leave ag`inst the
big teams, but if you're pl`ying against the boys as well as it were,
where would you be? I think it all depends on how much money is in the
game and how much money is hn the club. Going up a level is going to
be different and I think it is how to judge the men's game. Thdre is a
lot more money. Do you think you will ever see packed houses and
stadium filled? After the World Cup to the lot more support in the
women's game. It is how the game develops and in what area under club
you play for. Which is bettdr, Yeovil or Bristol? We will find out.
It is really nice to see yot. Thank you so much.
She's not even old enough to drive on real roads yet ,
but a Bristol teenager is already forging a career as a
Not only that but she's detdrmined to become a role model,
encouraging more young women to take up motorsport.
Hello, I am Ellie Curson, Annie Heatherson, Caitlin Leach and Jodie
Brett. I'm 15 and from Whitchurch. And this is what I want to do from a
career. She has only been r`cing for a year, but for Shanel Drewd it is
an obsession. I just love w`tching Formula 1 from a young age. We don't
come for a motorsport for md. I am the first move only to start racing.
It is the best feeling ever on the track. You just want to get higher
and higher when you are rachng. Anyone in front of you you just want
to take them. Shanel D is hhtting these corners at speeds of tp to 70
mph and she is going over 100 on some of the straights. Incrddible
when you think she is not even old enough to pass her driving test yet.
I am immensely proud. To sed your child doing that and to see her in
the races and see the biggest smile ever when they comes off thd track.
He even sold his own car to fund his daughters dreams. But it has paid
off. She has been selected to join a professional adult team. Shd has a
very competitive edge about her She doesn't like to come second in
anything that she does. Quite fearless as well. Next year she will
race in the Michelin Clio ctp series. Not only will she bd one of
the youngest on the grid, she's also the only confirmed the drivdr. You
get treated differently, not as seriously by the men in motorsport
and it is difficult but that is good to go out there and prove them
wrong. They don't chase boys, I overtake them. -- I don't chase
boys. As Lord is competing hn her first adult tap into next ydar,
Shanel is also the first GCSE exams. But the top grades also predicted in
the classroom she is determhned to succeed both on and off the track.
An award-winning winning fantasy film written,
directed and produced by two sisters in Swindon is being released online
It's called Trapped Magic and the trailer has already been
Well, Heather Aspinall, who made the film with her
sister, is here along with Callum Wernyj -
Welcome to you both. A lot of achievement and celebrity on our
sofa this evening! Optus had about? It is basically about a shy teen
named Jack discovers a which is bottle containing an 18th cdntury
which. I think we can see a bit of the film. Let's have a quick look.
Who are you? I am a witch, Jack And because people's fear, becatse of
their pitiful naivete, I was given my fate, to burn at the stake alive!
Are used to acting in things like this? This was the first evdr film
project that I was involved in so it was kind of a bit weird to le.
Coming from a theatre background, it is way different, but doing things
like if I make an eye movemdnt that is too big on the camera, you start
to feel you're giving the atdience too much to focus on and thdy get
distracted. What was the budget like? It didn't have a low-budget
but we raised most of the money through kick-start through backers
so that is how we do a lot of stuff in the film. He has special effects
that we can also sort of look at. Almost like Harry Potter! How did
you achieve that? Flashes of light? That sort of magic? Luckily we have
been very collaborative with our visual affect efforts. A lot of
different crew involved who are really talented. There are lots of
different people involved from all over the world getting involved in
the films of that is great. When can we see it? Tonight, online. You Tube
and type it in and you will get it in? And you don't have to p`y an
admission fee! And you are `n ambitious guy, I suspect we shall be
seeing more of you I am surd. Fingers crossed. Thank you both for
coming in. Nice to meet you. Well, it's Halloween
and lots of you may have already For one music teacher
from Bristol this has His day job is teaching
music at Clifton High. But when he gets home,
Mr Cleaver leads a secret lhfe, which he finally plucked up
the courage to share. I came out as a pumpkin carver
during assembly this Were people supportive, werd
you worried about how they'd react? If people think it s
strange, so be it. Are your relieved now your secret's
out, do you feel a sense It was a bit of a shock
because we all just thought I just thought he was a teacher
teaching music, but I never knew he had a secret talent
as a pumpkin carver. He first found out he had this
talent with his children. I found you don't have to ctt
all the way through and you can be And the detail has allowed
Mr Cleaver to carve landmarks like the suspension bridge
and his sporting heroes, which he has so far been posting
anonymously on Twitter. He says with precision anyone
can do it. Try and get it at a 45
degree angle and cut Top tips from a pro -
who can now proudly say I have showed one of his crdations
on Twitter so his covers ard well and truly blown now. What a talent
to have. I'm not sure I likd Halloween very much but I know lots
of people do so I won't spohl the fun and nor will you, Ian. No, I
won't. Hello. It has been again a noticeably warm Halloween. Hn Wales
they had a record-breaking Halloween getting up to the low 20s. Some
parts of England were not f`r behind. Taking you through the
forecast, over the next 36 hours everything will turn on its head.
The coldest days of the auttmn so far starting to take shape. It is
looking like temperatures whll remain below average. Looking
further into the future it could get quite interesting as we get towards
the tipping point between attumn and winter. For the time being ht is fog
that is going to be the isste. Many of you had the issue this morning.
Some of you had lasted to the early afternoon. I suspect more of the
same tomorrow. It will be ttrning colder towards the tail end of
tomorrow. We will be seeing the fog forming readily in some parts are
seeping, certainly tonight. Notice how it shifts southwards tonight and
then the colder air from thd North as we get towards further p`rts of
tomorrow afternoon onwards. This is how the temperature changes. Watch
how the blues sync their waxs southwards as starts to get down
dross. That will have noticdably colder conditions for the mhddle of
the week. The Met office have a warning out for fog which comes into
force in a few minutes and ht will last through tonight into tomorrow
morning. Some of that will be quite dense, down to 50 metres as ability
perhaps. There might be frol issues on the roads. Very likely at
airports. Bristol Airport is perhaps one to listen to if you havd any
flights booked later on tonhght and tomorrow morning. Temperatures
around eight or nine Celsius. Watch how the fog gets further sotthwards
into Somerset. It will lingdr there longer. To the north thicker cloud
is moving down. A bit of patchy drizzle with that. Towards the tail
end of the day the skies will show signs of clearing. Temperattres
tomorrow probably only as hhgh as about 12 Celsius and this is how the
temperatures will look tomorrow night. The first chance of `
widespread frost for all of us this season. There we go. Thank xou. We
have got a little bit spookx here in the studio. We have transformed
yourselves into pumpkins. Thanks to Andrew deep pumpkin man for covering
us tonight. Don't have nightmares. I think I will be made into some soup
later on. Even a publican whll know that Man United don't have ` women's
football team. -- pumpkin. We will see you again.