The Wylfa Power Station in the United Kingdom, has been given the go-ahead to transfer fuel between its reactors, enabling electricity generation to continue until September 2014, almost four years beyond its original closure date.
“Following several independent reviews, the site has been permitted to continue using one reactor, transferring partially used fuel from Reactor 2 to Reactor 1,” Magnox Ltd, which operates the site on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, said in a statement.
“The move has been given approval from the Office for Nuclear Regulation and is supported by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC),” it said.
Inter-Reactor Fuel Transfer (IRX) has already been used at Oldbury Power Station and has now been successfully trialled at Wylfa. Wylfa had originally planned to shut down in December 2010, but an opportunity was identified to continue producing electricity for a further period. Reactor 2 was shut down in April because of limited fuel stocks, following the final shipment of Magnox fuel – which is no longer manufactured - to the site in 2011.
Brian Burnett, NDA’s Head of Programme for Magnox, said: “Wylfa’s continued generation is excellent news and will deliver significant additional revenue to support our clean-up mission. My thanks go to Magnox for all its hard work in helping to make this happen.”
The additional income from Wylfa and Oldbury, which closed in February after generating electricity for four years longer than originally scheduled, is so far estimated to be worth around £600 million.
Charles Hendry, Minister of State for Energy, said that the move is good for the country’s energy security.
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