Output from Sizewell B power station, the country’s most efficient nuclear plant, has helped the UK fleet to a major milestone. The UK’s nuclear stations have clocked up 2000 terawatt hours (TWh) of zero carbon electricity – enough to power all the UK’s homes for more than 18 years.
Since the oldest stations in the fleet first started generating in 1976 the eight sites across the UK have not only powered the country and sustained thousands of jobs – they have also helped it avoid the emission of 700 million tonnes of CO2.
The Suffolk station started generating electricity 26 years ago and since then has generated so much power its output would have been enough to meet the electricity needs of every one of the 2.57m homes in the East of England, for more than 23 years. By 2030 all the existing power stations will have retired with Sizewell B being the only one left from this fleet in operation.
Robert Gunn, Sizewell B Station Director, said: “This unique power station has made a massive contribution to the UK’s nuclear fleet total output in a relatively short space of time.
“Its output total has already passed two much older stations and its quickly catching up with others. Our generating record and our carbon saving record are things we at Sizewell B are hugely proud of. And we’re extremely proud to have contributed more than 10% of the UK’s total nuclear output since 1976 in a much shorter period.
“When you start looking at the statistics these numbers are so big and so impressive they can become a little overwhelming. So instead of the big numbers I like to think of all the hard work, innovation and determination of the staff here who have made this station the single most efficient nuclear plant this country has ever had.
“Hitting this total also reminds us that nuclear power has long been a zero carbon, at the point of generation, technology – which is why we need Sizewell C to meet our net zero targets.”
EDF’s nuclear business employs more than 5,000 people across sites in Lancashire, Teesside, East Lothian, East Kilbride, West Kilbride, Suffolk, Kent, Somerset and Gloucestershire. Each year the nuclear business spends more than £800m through its supply chain, 93% of which is spent with UK companies, and since taking over the nuclear fleet in 2009 it has invested over £6bn in the plants.