EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point B nuclear power station, in Somerset, England. (Photo: EDF Energy)
By all accounts the most productive nuclear power plant in British history, Somerset’s Hinkley Point B station closed for good on August 1, with the shutdown of its B1 unit, a 485-MWe advanced gas-cooled reactor. (The plant’s B2 unit, a 480-MWe AGR, was shuttered early last month.)
The station employed around 500 staff and 250 contractors and contributed approximately £40 million (about $48.7 million) per year to the Somerset economy, according to EDF Energy, owner and operator of the United Kingdom’s power reactor fleet.
The Hunterston B nuclear power station in 2018. (Photo: Thomas Nugent/CC BY-SA 2.0)
Unit B1 at Scotland’s two-unit Hunterston B nuclear power plant was taken off line for good on November 26 after nearly 46 years of operation. A 490-MWe advanced gas-cooled reactor, the unit entered commercial operation in June 1976. Its companion AGR, Unit B2, which entered operation in March 1977, is scheduled for retirement in January.
Hunterston B’s pile cap and fueling machine. (Photo: EDF)
The U.K. government and EDF have agreed to improved arrangements for the decommissioning of Britain’s seven advanced gas-cooled reactor nuclear power plants, which are due to reach the end of their operational lives this decade.