UK says 'cheerio' to Oldbury

29 February 2012

The Magnox nuclear power station at Oldbury in the UK ceased generation at 11am on 29 February 2012, after over 44 years of safe operation. The permanent shut down of the site now means that work will shift towards defueling and decommissioning.

The decision was taken to shut reactor 1 at the Oldbury power station in November 2011 after the operator Magnox and the owner the Nuclear Decommission Authority deemed further operation was not economically viable.

Magnox Ltd, said that Oldbury was originally due to shutdown in 2008 and that scheduled closure date, the plant has generated an additional 7.4 TWh of electricity, worth around £350 million to the taxpayer. The two-unit station generated 137.5 TWh of electricity over its lifetime. Reactor 2 shut in June 2011. Over its lifetime it had generated 68.6 TWh of electricity, operating at an average lifetime load factor of 57.9%, according to NEI's calculations.

Phil Sprague, Oldbury Site Director, said “Our main focus for the coming months is to prepare our staff and the plant for the defueling of the reactors, whilst continuing to maintain the very high standards for safety that we have created here. On-going support for our staff as we make these changes will be key for the rest of this year.”

The UK now has just two Magnox reactors in operation. The NDA’s other operational nuclear site, Wylfa on Anglesey in North Wales, is looking to extend generation beyond its current shutdown date of December 2012, through to 2014.


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