Heysham 1 reactor 2 is now operating at around 90% of full load. Load has been reduced since October 2006 in order to reduce the surface temperature on an area within the reactor known as the hot box dome.
Following work undertaken jointly by the EDF Energy and EDF Group Engineering functions an initial modification to create additional cooling paths was tested on Heysham 1 reactor 1 during its 2010 statutory outage, with positive results. The modification has now been successfully applied to the reactor, resulting in load being increased to around 90% of full load.
This modification is, however, only part of the solution to increase load further. Therefore further works will be implemented at Heysham 1 Reactor 2 during its statutory outage in 2012 to increase load further towards full power. It should be noted that until the complete solution is implemented there is a risk that output from Heysham 1 Reactor 2 may drop below current operating levels.
Andy Spurr, EDF Energy’s Managing Director for Existing Nuclear said: “This is a great example of the whole EDF Group working together to provide a solution for the issue we had at Heysham.
“Heysham 1, which recently announced a five year-life extension, is a vital part of the EDF Energy fleet, meeting 2-3% of the nation’s electricity needs and also providing 500 jobs locally.
“The careful and professional work we have carried out at Heysham 1 on this project, shows the investment we are committing to ensure our nuclear plants continue to supply secure low carbon electricity for the UK.”