Deal made for decommissioning seven UK nuclear reactors

Article by Amanda Doyle

Hunterston B pile cap and fuelling machine

AN AGREEMENT has been made between the UK Government and EDF for the safe and efficient decommissioning of seven advanced gas cooled reactors (AGRs).

The seven AGR stations are due to reach the end of their operational lives on a rolling basis by 2030. They are Torness and Hunterston B in Scotland, Dungeness B in Kent, Hartlepool in Teesside, Heysham 1 and Heysham 2 in Lancashire and Hinkley Point B in Somerset.

EDF had originally been solely responsible for decommissioning the AGR stations, but the new arrangement will involve the expertise of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), which is currently decommissioning older Magnox stations.

EDF will safely remove the fuel from the station, which is the first stage of decommissioning. EDF will then work with the NDA to clean up the sites while transferring ownership to the NDA.

The Government claims that the deal will save the taxpayer £1bn (US$1.4bn). The Government said it has also committed to making a final investment decision on at least one new large-scale nuclear power station by the end of Parliament.

Anne Marie Trevelyan, Minister of State for Energy, said: “Today’s deal marks an important milestone in managing the legacy of our older nuclear power stations, ensuring these stations are decommissioned safely and efficiently. By using the unique expertise of both EDF and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, we will ensure costs are reduced.”

David Peattie, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, said: “We are delighted to have been directed by government to take on the future ownership of the seven EDF advanced gas reactor sites for future decommissioning. The work will be undertaken by our subsidiary Magnox and this decision is a testament of the skills, knowledge and experience held in the NDA and Magnox.

“This work is of national importance and we now look forward to working with EDF to ensure the seamless transfer of stations in the coming years.”

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

Recent Editions

Catch up on the latest news, views and jobs from The Chemical Engineer. Below are the four latest issues. View a wider selection of the archive from within the Magazine section of this site.