THERE have been 12 leaks and four fires at Hinkley B power station since 2001, it emerged this week.

The information was released by Labour MP David Kidney, a parliamentary under-secretary in the Department of Energy and Climate Change, in response to a question in parliament about fires and leaks at all of Britain's nuclear power stations.

A spokesman for the Nuclear Industry Association said: “All of the incidents listed were dealt with, and at no time was there any risk to the public or the environment.

“The International Nuclear Events Scale grades these events, and none would have been rated above level two, which is defined as an incident - and does not carry a safety implication.”

A spokesperson for British Energy, which runs Hinkley Point B, said: “We have an open reporting culture meaning we thoroughly investigate any incident, however minor, and report it to our independent regulators - including the Nuclear Industry Association.

“The NII scrutinise these incidents on behalf of the UK public, ensuring that the safety of the public and our workforce is not compromised in anyway.”