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Need To Know: Cracks discovered in nuclear reactor

■ Cracks discovered in nuclear reactor

FOOTAGE has been released of cracks found inside a reactor at a nuclear plant in Scotland.

The unit at Hunterston B in North Ayrshire has not been operating since the cracks were found to be growing faster than expected.

A planned inspection of the graphite bricks that make up the core of reactor three in March last year uncovered new ‘keyway root cracks’.

EDF Energy said these have now grown to an average of 2mm wide. The firm has released footage of the cracks, which was taken in 2017 and 2018.

Station director Colin Weir said ‘We’ve carried out one of our biggest ever inspection campaigns on reactor three, we’ve renewed our modelling, we’ve done experiments and tests and we’ve analysed all the data from this to produce our safety case that we will submit to the Office for Nuclear Regulation.’

■ Iran rejects move to grant Nazanin diplomatic protection

IRAN has claimed the UK’s move to grant ‘diplomatic protection’ to Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe flouts international law.

Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt invoked the diplomatic device in response to Iran’s treatment of the dual national (pictured) who was jailed for five years in Iran in 2016 after being convicted of spying, which she denies.

It means the case will now be treated as a formal, legal dispute between the two states involved, Britain and Iran.

Mr Hunt said the move was unlikely to be a ‘magic wand’ to get her released, but was an ‘important diplomatic step’.

But Tehran refuses to acknowledge the British-Iranian mother’s dual nationality and said the UK’s actions were illegal.

Iran’s ambassador to the UK Hamid Baeidinejad said governments could only offer diplomatic protection for their own nationals and the UK was ‘acutely aware’ that ‘Iran does not recognise dual nationality’.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband Richard said he hoped Mr Hunt’s move would lead to a resolution to her case within months.

■ Corbyn: Labour has nothing to hide

JEREMY CORBYN has insisted Labour does not have ‘anything to hide’ over its action on anti-Semitism.

The Labour leader’s comments come after equality watchdog, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), said it was considering launching a formal investigation into anti-Semitism within the party.

Labour has been given a fortnight to respond to the body’s concerns that it ‘may have unlawfully discriminated against people because of their ethnicity and religious beliefs’.

A decision will then be made on whether to launch an investigation, which would involve interviews with key party figures and the EHRC obtaining documents and records relating to the issue.

Mr Corbyn said Labour will give the EHRC its ‘fullest possible co-operation’ if the body decides to investigate.

‘We welcome it, we will co-operate with it — we do not believe we have anything to hide at all,’ said the Labour leader. ‘Anti-Semitism has no place whatsoever at all in the Labour Party or the Labour movement.’

■ Headteacher has to ‘clean the toilets’ due to funding crisis

PARENTS are helping schools by paying for glue sticks and pens due to a funding crisis, headteachers have warned.

A letter sent to millions of families by more than 7,000 headteachers comes as the WorthLess? campaign group said its request to meet Education secretary Damian Hinds has been rejected due to time pressures.

Siobhan Lowe, head of Tolworth Girls’ School in Surbiton, Surrey, said she has been forced to clean the school, wash the toilets, serve in the canteen, and can no longer afford a deputy headteacher.

Alex Bird (pictured), head of St Mary’s Church of England Primary School in Horsham, West Sussex, said ‘working conditions were atrocious’ and he has had to cut the hours of support staff in a bid to make ends meet.

He added the school also has an Amazon wish list for parents to purchase individual items to help keep the school running as efficiently as possible, he said.

The Department for Education said school funding in England was ‘at its highest ever level’.