13 Feb 15

Happy birthday Sizewell B

Sizewell B marks 20 years of low carbon electricity generation this weekend.

The station was ‘married to the grid’ on 14 February 1995 and has saved some 117 million tonnes of CO2e which is equivalent to taking all of the passenger cars off UK roads for 1.8years.

3,000 UK companies were involved in the construction of Sizewell B with nearly 700 of them based in East Anglia.

With 550 staff and 250 contractors the station is one of the biggest employers in the region. The power station is worth £40million a year to the local economy.

Sizewell B has 36 apprentices, one of them, Brad Holman, 20, was born in Lowestoft just before Sizewell started to generate electricity. Brad is a 3rd year apprentice and hopes to join the maintenance or operations department at Sizewell B when he qualifies.

Brad said: “I wanted to work at Sizewell B because of the great opportunities on offer. The apprenticeship has been like going away to university without the bills! I am earning and learning and once I qualify I have a long career ahead of me.”

Jim Crawford, Sizewell B Station Director, said: “Sizewell B safely and reliably delivers power to over 2million homes and businesses every day. To do that we need skilled, well trained people like Brad in the business. It’s one of the highlights of the job, meeting the next generation of engineers and technicians and helping them reach their full potential to deliver something so fundamental to day to day life as electricity.”

Visits can be made to Sizewell B by contacting sizewellbtours@edf-energy.com or calling 01728 653974.

About Sizewell B

Sizewell B started generating electricity in 1995. The Sizewell B nuclear reactor is the UK's only large pressurised water reactor (PWR). The current decommissioning date is 2035 but this could be extended by 20 years.

The station is well known for its iconic dome which is 1.25 times larger than St Paul’s Cathedral. The concrete walls of the dome are a metre thick and contain reinforcement bars which if placed end to end would stretch to New York and back again.

Sizewell B has two turbines which each generate power for over 1million homes and businesses. Over 3.4million litres of sea water a minute is used to cool the equipment in the turbine hall before it is returned to sea.

Each turbine consists of one high pressure turbine and three low pressure turbines. The tips of the largest turbine blade travel almost twice the speed of sound. The turbine shaft rotates at 3000rpm which is the same as a car wheel if you drove it at 3957 mph.

It’s a double celebration for Sizewell B as The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) approved the safety case for the station to operate for a further 10 years.

The industry regulator confirmed Sizewell B meets its safety case to continue delivering low carbon power to over 2million customers until 2025.

A Periodic Safety Review (PSR) is carried out every 10 years at all nuclear power stations in the UK.

EDF Energy

EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and the largest producer of low-carbon electricity, producing around one-fifth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations and combined heat and power plants. The company supplies gas and electricity to 6 million business and residential customer accounts and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain.

EDF Energy’s safe and secure operation of its eight existing nuclear power stations at sites across the country makes it the UK’s largest generator of low carbon electricity. EDF Energy is also leading the UK's nuclear renaissance and has published plans to build four new nuclear plants, subject to the right investment framework.

These new plants could generate enough low carbon electricity for about 40% of Britain’s homes. They would make an important contribution to the UK’s future needs for clean, secure and affordable energy. The project is already creating business and job opportunities for British companies and workers.

Through Our Better Energy Ambitions, EDF Energy has developed one of the biggest environmental and social programmes of any British energy company.

In 2014 EDF Energy received seven ‘Big Ticks’ in the Business in the Community (BITC) Responsible Business Awards. In 2013 EDF Energy received the Environmental Leadership for Behavioural Change Award in the national Environment and Energy Awards and was highly commended in the first ever pan European Corporate Social Responsibility Awards scheme for its Sustainable Schools programme – the Pod.

EDF Energy is part of EDF Group, one of Europe’s largest power companies. The company employs around 15,000 people at locations across the UK.

To find out more about the UK's energy challenges look at www.edfenergy.com/energyfuture/