Frazer-Nash has completed work at Oldbury power station as part of Magnox’s Generation Optimisation programme, helping the site to achieve and fulfil a four-year licence extension. The project follows extensive safety case work by the consultancy on the graphite cores at both Wylfa and Oldbury since 2003.
Based at the Oldbury site, the Frazer-Nash team supported Magnox’s ongoing structural integrity monitoring which included helping with the ongoing development of the safety case and assessing this during shutdowns at the site in order to reduce lost time. The team also analysed the results of its monitoring work to assess the safety case on an on-going basis, extending the methodology of the monitoring process to include extreme load cases where requested by the regulator.
As a result of the work undertaken, a four-year licence extension was granted for Reactor 1 and an extension of two and a half years for Reactor 2, producing an additional 7.4 terrawatt hours of electricity. Reactor 1 finally ceased to operate in February this year.
The project sees the culmination of a working relationship between Frazer-Nash and Magnox spanning more than eight years. In this time, Frazer-Nash’s responsibilities have included developing software to monitor the ageing of the cores, finite element analysis work, analysis of thermodynamics and non-linear stress, and development of a probabilistic assessment methodology.
Commenting on the completion of the long-term project, Nial Greeves, Senior Business Executive at Frazer-Nash said: “This has been a challenging piece of work, helping to secure the ongoing operation of one of the world’s last magnox nuclear reactors. With at least 40,000 graphite bricks in each reactor, analysing the structure was a challenging task. However, through our teams in Bristol, Warrington and Dorking we developed a wide range methodologies through which we were able to analyse the integrity of the structure.
“We’ve established a strong relationship with Magnox since 2003, working closely with the Oldbury team. Although we’re therefore sad to see the so-called ‘old ladies’ of the industry now being decommissioned, we’re all very proud that through our work we were able to extend the life of the plant by several years.”