The reactor and Turbine 2 at the power station were resynchronised to the national grid which means that Sizewell B is currently working at half capacity, generating enough electricity for about one million homes.
Maintenance work on Turbine 1 is progressing well and is planned to be brought back on line in the coming days, which will return the station to full operation.
Jim Crawford, Sizewell B Station Director said: “This £60million planned refuelling and maintenance outage has seen an additional 1,200 specialist workers on site who have assisted Sizewell B staff, who all live with in 25 miles of the power station, complete some 13,000 tasks in addition to refuelling the reactor. By successfully completing these maintenance tasks we further improve the performance of Sizewell B which is already recognised as a world class nuclear power station.”
Key achievements during the 47 day outage include safely changing the rotors on one of the turbines which converts steam into electricity to provide low carbon power for about 1 million homes.
An estimated additional £20million is invested in the local community through the accommodation of additional workers and in areas such as salaries.
These maintenance periods known as “outages” take place every 18 months and are planned in advance with the National Grid to ensure that there is no risk to national electricity supply.
Local firms such as precision engineers H W Webb Engineering from Woodton near Bungay have brought their engineering expertise to the project.
Managing Director Steven Webb said: “We’ve been working with Sizewell B for eight years and each year the contract seems to grow. Sizewell B is an important contract for us, not just during the outage when work at the station increases but also throughout the year. They see the value of local engineering expertise. We can deliver quality work and we’re on their doorstep.”
Sizewell B has been generating enough electricity power for more than two million homes since it started operating in February 1995. The station employs over 550 staff and 250 contractors to ensure the safe reliable generation of power providing 3% of the UK’s electricity. It has saved the equivalent of an estimated 108 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions during its 19 years of operation.