A new dawn as Hinkley Point B ends generation
After more than 46 years generating home grown zero-carbon electricity, Somerset powerhouse Hinkley Point B has today switched off its second reactor.
The station first produced power when Abba’s Mamma Mia was at the top of the charts in 1976. Today it ends its run as the most productive nuclear power station the country has ever had.
Mike Davies, Station Director of Hinkley Point B, said: “This is a day of mixed emotions for all of us. We are justifiably proud of everything this station and its workforce have given to Somerset, and indeed the country, over decades of operations. The huge amount of electricity we’ve produced could have met the needs of every home in the South West for 33 years.
“There is much to be proud of. This tiny corner of Somerset has produced huge amounts of zero-carbon electricity, supported and enriched our community and helped sustain the South West nuclear sector by providing thousands well-paid, high skilled jobs to our community.
“Now our attention turns to the job of defueling the power station.“
Over the coming weeks and months, teams at Hinkley Point B will undertake major maintenance and improvement projects across the plant to get it ready for the next stage of its life, defueling. This process, expected to last around three to four years, involves removing the remaining nuclear fuel from the reactors and transporting it to Sellafield for storage.
Once that work is complete EDF will hand the station to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority for the next step of its life, decommissioning.
Mike added: “When a power station is generating it looks, sounds and smells a certain way. It’s a familiar experience that most people who work here, or who are familiar with our site know and, to some degree, love.
“But all that changed today as our turbines slowed and stopped for the final time. Of course we’ve had that experience when we’ve been on outages – but we’ve always known they’d be back on again and we’d be generating.
“Now we have a new job and a huge amount of interesting work to do. I’m excited for Somerset that Hinkley Point C is taking shape on our horizon but I also know that thanks to this station, and everything it’s achieved, our colleagues have got very big boots to fill.”
Notes to Editors:
- Hinkley Point B was first synchronised to the UK electricity grid in February 1976 and since then it has generated 311 Terrawatt hours (TWh) of electricity, that’s enough to meet the needs of every home in the UK for almost 3 years, or every home in the south west for 33 years.
- Although power prices fluctuate, if we estimate £50 per MWh, this equates to well over £15billion of value.
- When compared to output from a gas powered CCGT Hinkley Point B is estimated to have prevented 107 million tonnes of CO2 going into the atmosphere. At a carbon price of £76.89 per tonne this is worth £8.3 billion and is the equivalent of taking 51m cars off the roads.
- The UK Fuel Mix disclosure information, published by Government Department BEIS, recognises electricity from wind, solar and nuclear fuel produces zero carbon dioxide emissions at the point of generation.
- The station employs around 500 staff and 250 contractors and contributes around £40m a year to the Somerset economy.
For more information contact: Fiona McCall 07813 232347 or call EDF’s media line on 01452 652233 and a member of the team will respond.
EDF is helping Britain achieve Net Zero by leading the transition to a cleaner, low emission, electric future and tackling climate change. It is the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity(1) and supplies millions of customers with electricity and gas.
It generates low carbon electricity from five nuclear power stations and more than thirty onshore wind farms and two offshore wind farms*.
EDF is leading the UK's nuclear renaissance with the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C, and there are advanced plans for a replica at Sizewell C in Suffolk. Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C will provide low carbon electricity to meet 14% of UK demand and power around 12 million homes.
EDF is one of the UK’s largest investors in renewables, with more than 1GW of renewable generation in operation and over 4GW in construction, planning and development across a range of technologies including onshore and offshore wind, solar and battery storage. We are constructing our largest offshore wind farm in Britain – the 450 MW Neart na Gaoithe project in Scotland.
EDF is helping its customers, both in business and at home, take their first steps to sustainably powering their lives. Whether it is buying an electric car, generating and storing electricity, selling energy back to the grid or installing a heat pump. EDF is one of the largest suppliers to British business and a leading supplier of innovative energy solutions that are helping businesses become more energy independent. In addition, the company’s energy services business, Imtech, is one of the largest technical service providers in the UK and Ireland.
EDF is part of EDF Group, the world’s biggest electricity generator. In the UK, the company employs around 11,000 people at locations across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
*EDF is continuing to operate its last coal power station until 31 March 2023 at the request of Government to support security of supply over winter.