Oldbury powers on into 2012

It has been announced that Oldbury Power Station will continue to generate electricity into 2012.

Oldbury, near Bristol, which is owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), was originally scheduled to close at the end of 2008, and has successfully extended its operating life on two occasions, and now has the opportunity to continue producing electricity for a further final period, following a review with the site’s regulators.

It means that Reactor 1 at Oldbury could generate electricity until the end of 2012, using up all the available fuel produced for the site. Reactor 2 is due to cease generation on June 30 this year, in line with current plans.

The site is operated by Magnox Ltd and, over the last 12 months, has been planning for the prospect of further generation, undertaking work to support the period of extended generation including an evaluation of the Periodic Safety Review – the key document used by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) to check the safety of the site.

Brian Burnett, the NDA’s Head of Programme, said:

“Oldbury’s continued generation is good news as it ensures further benefit from one of the NDA’s valuable assets. The income generated over the extension period will be utilised to support our clean-up mission. I would like to thank Magnox for all the work they have done to help make this happen.”

Phil Sprague, Oldbury Site Director, said:

“As a result of excellent operation and maintenance by our experienced staff the plant and equipment are in very good condition.

“We have worked hard with each of our regulators and they have no objection to extended generation. We are pleased that this work has been successful and that we will continue to contribute to the country’s electricity supply as we have done for the last 43 years.”

Regulators overseeing other aspects of the site’s work include the Environment Agency and the Office for Civil Nuclear Security and each of these has been involved in this programme of work.