Hunterston B power station
Hunterston B is a nuclear power station on the west coast of Scotland.
Over its generating life Hunterston B produced 297.4TWh of zero-carbon electricity
Enough to power all of Scotland’s homes for 31 years
Avoiding 101.5m tonnes of CO2 emissions*
Like taking every car off Scotland's roads for more than 19 years
*when compared to direct emissions of combined cycle gas turbines | all figures rounded to the nearest hundred thousand
Public consultation on proposals for decommissioning Hunterston B
Hunterston B stopped generating electricity in January 2022 after 46 years of service. At the moment EDF is removing the used fuel from the reactors in preparation for the decommissioning of the nuclear power station.
Decommissioning will involve dismantling and demolition of plant and buildings on the Hunterston B site and will be carried out by Magnox, which is part of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
The first phase of decommissioning, the Preparations for Quiescence phase is anticipated to start at the end of defueling in 2025 (with formal handover of the site to Magnox expected in 2026). This first phase will involve the removal of all buildings and plant from the site, with the exception of the reactor buildings and some adjoining structures which will be modified to create a Safestore structure. This Safestore is designed to maintain the reactor buildings in a safe state through the Quiescence phase of around 70 years. Following this, the Final Site Clearance phase will involve the removal of the reactors and debris vaults housed in the Safestore structure, making the site available for future use. Whilst future uses of the site will not be achieved for many decades, our proposals are a stepped approach to dismantling and decontamination towards an end state. This allows for safe radioactive decay, prior to Final Site Clearance.
Find out more about the defueling process.
Consultation - round 2
We first consulted on the overall decommissioning approach in August and September 2022. Since then we have further developed the plans and made progress in the Environmental Impact Assessment process. We held a second round of consultation between 30 May and 11 July 2023 to feedback on the views expressed during last year’s consultation and give more detail on some of the proposals, including projections on transport movements and waste volumes.
Views given during the second round of consultation will inform our planned submission later this year of an Environmental Statement to the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) under the Nuclear Reactors (Environmental Impact Assessment for Decommissioning) Regulations 1999 (as amended) which requires approval before decommissioning can proceed.
Environmental Impact Assessment Scoping Report
We submitted our Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Scoping Report to the ONR setting out the proposed scope of the EIA to be undertaken for the Hunterston B decommissioning proposals in August 2022. This document requests a scoping opinion from the ONR which will confirm the scope of the assessment required under the Nuclear Reactors (Environmental Impact Assessment for Decommissioning) Regulations 1999 (as amended). You can find the scoping report in the links below:
We received a Pre-application Opinion (PAO) from the ONR in October 2022 which provided feedback on the proposed scope and methodology of our EIA for Hunterston B and the decommissioning proposals. This PAO was created by ONR following its own consultation with key statutory and regulatory consultees and can be found on the ONR Website.
About Hunterston B
- Station Director: Joe Struthers
- Total supply to the national grid: 965MW
- Reactor type: 2 Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors
- Coolant: Carbon dioxide gas (CO2)
- Start of construction: 1968
- Start of generation: 1976
- Start of defuelling: 2022
- People: Approximately 520 full time EDF employees plus over 250 full time contract partners
Defueling success as first reactor fuel free at Hunterston B in Scotland
Graphite in nuclear power
At Hunterston B we have been conducting the most extensive investigation programme ever undertaken on the graphite core of our reactors.
Find out more about the role of graphite in our reactors, and the results of our inspections.
EDF and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority hold regular joint meetings (Site Stakeholder Group or SSG) with local people, the media, council and emergency services representatives and local politicians to maintain regular communications about the nuclear site. This meeting is independently chaired. Read the latest community report.