UK’s Heysham unit begins planned outage

20 September 2016

The UK’s Heysham B-2 nuclear power unit in northern England has been taken out of service for a planned maintenance programme, after a record-breaking run in which it generated more than 14TWh of electricity during 940 days of continuous operation, EDF Energy said. This beat a record previously held for 22 years by the Canada’s Pickering NPP. Torness PP, in Scotland, is due to break Heysham B-2’s record in February 2017 and it is expected to reach 996 continuous days of operation when it shuts down for planned maintenance in April 2017. The extensive programme of work planned at Heysham B-2’s 615MWe advanced gas-cooled reactor unit, will include camera inspections inside the reactor, as well as the installation of new equipment. The biggest projects include replacing two large gas circulators which help cool the reactor. Heysham B-2 began commercial operation in April 1989. EDF Energy, which operates 15 reactor units at eight nuclear stations in the UK, said that since it took over the NPPs in 2009 following the acquisition of British Energy, output has increased by 50%, safety performance has increased by 51% and their lifespans have increased by 25%. Earlier this year EDF Energy announced new extended scheduled closure dates for four NPPs, with Heysham 2 now scheduled to operate for an additional seven years until 2030.

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