28 Apr 15

EDF Energy invests during planned maintenance shutdown at Dungeness B

ONE of the two nuclear reactors at Dungeness B power station in Kent will be taken out of service on 1 May for a major maintenance programme worth around £30m. Dungeness B’s other reactor is due to continue operating normally throughout the period.

Around 500 extra workers will join the site’s 550-strong team during the ten-week period, providing a boost to the local economy.

Steve Coates, plant manager at Dungeness B, said: “The team here at Dungeness B is ready for what will be a busy time for the station and they will be supported by many hundreds of contractors.

“It’s good news for the local economy which will see benefits for local shops, taxis, restaurants, B and Bs and hotels.”

These maintenance periods known as “statutory outages” take place every three years and are planned years in advance. The company also advises National Grid to ensure that there is no impact on the national electricity supply.

The team will carry out more than 11,000 separate pieces of work. The extensive programme of work will see inspections inside the reactor as well as the installation of new equipment at the plant.

This year the station is also investing an additional £4.5 million in key projects to improve plant performance through to the end of its life. EDF Energy expects Dungeness B to remain open for an additional ten years thanks to the £150m extra investment announced at the beginning of this year.

Together, the two reactors generate enough low carbon electricity to power around one and a half million homes. In a typical year, producing this amount of low carbon energy avoids 3.4 million tonnes of CO2 being produced which is the same as taking 1.5 million (5%) passenger cars off the UK’s roads.

Key facts

  • Dungeness B nuclear power station was constructed between 1965-1985
  • It was the first commercial AGR* to be commissioned in the UK
  • Dungeness B employs 550 people plus another 200 contract staff and contributes over £40 million to local economy
  • The station takes on around six new apprentices each year
  • The two reactors have a capacity of 1050 MW, enough energy for over 1.5 million homes
  • Its annual generation avoids around 3.4m tonnes of CO2 – the same as taking 1.5 million (5%) of passenger cars off the UK’s roads.

*AGR – “Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactors” are the second generation of British gas-cooled reactors. They use graphite as a moderator and are cooled primarily with carbon dioxide. Nuclear generation does not however emit any CO2.

For more information contact:

EDF Energy Media
Media Relations Team
01452 652233

Juliette Sanders
Media Officer (South East)
07875 112 599

EDF Energy in the South East

In the South East EDF Energy operates Dungeness B power station which employs over 500 staff and 200 contracting partners.

EDF Energy employs a further 2,500 staff in East and West Sussex with approximately 800 across sites in Crawley, Three Bridges, and East Grinstead and 1,700 across two of our three UK based call centres in Hove and Worthing..

As well as generating enough power to serve some 1.5million homes in this region the company also provides gas and electricity to 730,000 customers with over 20% of those opting for one of the company’s Blue+ products which are backed by low-carbon generation.

We make sure we buy enough electricity generated from a low-carbon nuclear source to match every unit of electricity we estimate our Blue customers use.

EDF Energy is proud to power up some of the largest companies in the UK, including sites for Tesco Stores Limited, Ministry of Defence and Morrisons right here in the South East.

Following a landmark agreement with Network Rail the company also provides nuclear-backed Blue energy to power up the UKs electric rail network, covering most of the south east of England and the main lines from London to Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as the Merseyrail network around Liverpool and the Glasgow suburban network.