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 DESNZ, 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.