A BBC report claiming that Hunterston B could be susceptible to meltdown has been slammed by station bosses.

The report, for the English regional ‘Inside Out West’ programme, sought to raise concerns about Hinkley B power station in Somerset - the sister station to Hunterston B.

It highlighted cracking in graphite blocks in the reactor core at Hunterston B - reported regularly in the News - as having a major impact on safety there and, in turn, at the English station. Both stations have had approval for life extensions through to 2023.

But owners EDF hit back, saying that the nuclear regulator's documents referred to in the report were out-of-date. In the programme itself, an ONR official stated that there were concerns about the cracks in the graphite, but said that they had advised EDF to introduce new processes which would address those specific problems.

An EDF spokesperson said: “Hunterston B would be able to shutdown in the event of an emergency - the claims in recent news reports refer to historic documents held by the ONR which pre-date additional safety modifications which have been introduced at the power station in recent years including super articulated control rods which we would be able to insert into the reactors to safely perform shutdown

“In the highly unlikely event that the number of control rods inserted into the reactor was unable to hold down the nuclear reaction, Hunterston ‘B’ is also equipped with plant equipment that would quickly inject nitrogen gas into the core and stop the nuclear reaction.”