An additional 1,500 specialist workers will join the station’s 550 employees this month to refuel and maintain Sizewell B.
The station is brought offline every 18months for this work to take place. A third of the fuel is replaced in the reactor and thousands of maintenance jobs are completed during the 6 week period.
Work will include replacing the low pressure rotor on one of the turbine generators; the other was replaced when the station was brought offline to refuel in 2014.
Inside the Sizewell dome the 10 year routine inspection of the reactor pressure vessel will be completed and all four steam generators will be examined. Specialist robotic equipment controlled by skilled engineers will be used to complete this work.
Paul Morton, Sizewell B Station Director said: “The start of refuelling marks 499 days of uninterrupted power supply generated by the station. That’s a great achievement only made possible by teamwork at the station and investment by the company. EDF Energy’s investment in its nuclear stations has helped them deliver a remarkable performance. Last year at Sizewell we achieved a UK nuclear industry record for any one station with 100% availability delivering 10.5TWh of electricity – that’s enough to power 2.6m homes for a year.”
Contracts have been awarded to dozens of UK firms to assist with the work taking place. In Suffolk and Norfolk companies such as Tecflo in Great Yarmouth, J.T. Pegg & Sons in Aldeburgh and LEC Marine in Lowestoft, will once again join Sizewell B employees to complete work at the power station.
J T Pegg and Sons Ltd have been engineers based in Aldeburgh, Suffolk for the last 100 years. The business was founded as a blacksmiths by the late John Thomas Pegg in 1912.
Dennis Pegg, a fourth generation son of John Thomas Pegg said: “We have a long term relationship with the nuclear industry in Suffolk which stretches back over fifty years. Sizewell B approach us when they carry out their maintenance work to see how we can help with local supplies of steelwork. They see the value of local precision engineering expertise. We can deliver quality work and we’re on their doorstep.”
Mark Sawyer, Managing Director for LEC Marine in Lowestoft said: “We are extremely proud to be regularly entrusted by EDF Energy to provide Sizewell B with bespoke electrical engineered solutions. Over the years we have provided Sizewell B with electrical control panels for motor control, tank gauging, level sensing and system control, all designed and manufactured in our Lowestoft workshops. We strongly believe attention to detail, quality of service and ultimately understanding our customers exacting requirements in such a demanding industry sector has helped us to secure such valued repeat business over the years.”
Sizewell B has one reactor and two turbine generators which produced enough power for 2.6million homes last year. Turbine Generator 1 was brought offline on Tuesday 12 April at 9am and turbine generator 2 was brought offline on Friday 15 April at 9am.
Preparation work for the outage begins at least two years ahead of refuelling the reactor as part of a ten year strategic outage plan for the station.
Firms in Suffolk and Norfolk awarded contracts for Sizewell’s refuelling and maintenance work