US-based Westinghouse Electric Company has signed a contract extension with EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Limited (NGL) to supply fuel for the UK’s Advanced Gas Cooled Reactors (AGRs) from its Springfields fuel fabrication facility in the UK.
NGL will continue to generate electricity at its four operational AGR NPPs at Heysham (units 1&2), Torness, and Hartlepool. Springfields is the UK’s only commercial fuel fabrication facility, and produces fuel for its NPPs.
Mark Hartley, Managing Director of EDF Energy’s Generation business said: "It has never been more important that the UK has a secure, affordable supply of low carbon electricity. EDF is working hard to make sure the AGR fleet continues to be an important part of that supply for as long as possible and signing this agreement with Westinghouse is a key part of that work."
"We are delighted to reach this agreement with NGL which further reinforces an already strong partnership established over 40 years ago when the Springfields site manufactured the initial fuel for the UK’s first commercial AGR," said Tarik Choho, Westinghouse President of Nuclear Fuel. "We are proud of this legacy and that the Springfields team can provide ongoing services and support to the AGR stations for the years to come."
Fuel fabrication at Springfields began in 946 under the direction of the Ministry of Supply and it produced its first uranium fuel in 1948, becoming the world’s first commercial nuclear fuel manufacturing facility. Responsibility for the site was passed from the Ministry of Supply to the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, then to British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL), which acquired US-based Westinghouse in 1999. In 2010 Springfields Fuels Ltd (SFL) was created to run the site on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), which was taking over many of BNFL’s operations. BNFL was abolished in 2016. SFL was operated by Westinghouse Electric UK, which subsequently acquired a long-term lease for the site and transferred responsibility for the commercial fuel manufacturing business and Springfields Fuels Ltd to Westinghouse.
Image (from left to right): Sophie Lemaire, Westinghouse SVP EMEA & Asia PWR Fuel; David Eaves, Westinghouse EHS&Q Director & Chief Technical Officer; Mark Hartley, EDF Managing Director – Generation; and David Tomblin, EDF Finance Director – Generation (courtesy of Westinghouse)