EDF has decided today to move Dungeness B nuclear power station in Kent into the defuelling phase with immediate effect. Since September 2018 the station has been in an extended outage in which EDF has been managing a range of unique, significant and ongoing technical challenges that are not found at the other six AGR power stations. Although many have been overcome, new detailed analysis has further highlighted additional station-specific risks within some key components, including parts within the fuel assemblies.
EDF Energy 7th June 2021 read more »
EDF Energy today said that it would begin the defuelling phase of Dungeness B nuclear power station in Kent, seven years ahead of schedule. The 1.2 gigawatt power station at Romney Marsh has been offline since 2018 due to “a range of unique, significant and ongoing technical challenges”, the energy giant said. But after discovering new “station-specific risks”, EDF said that it had “taken a decision not to restart the plant but to move it into the defuelling stage”. Initially, the plant was scheduled to close in 2008, but was given two 10-year extensions.
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Boris Johnson’s green agenda suffered a major blow as technical problems forced one of the country’s last nuclear power plants to close seven years early. French company EDF announced yesterday that it will immediately defuel the Dungeness B site in Kent after the project went offline in 2018 amid a string of difficulties. The closure means five of the UK’s low carbon nuclear stations will be shut within the next three years – casting doubt over the Prime Minister’s plan to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. Tom Greatrex, chief at the Nuclear Industry Association, said the decision means the UK’s overall low carbon capacity “will go down rather than up”. Dungeness B has produced 142,566 terawatt hours over its lifetime, significantly less than the 301,947 of Hinkley Point B and 288,506 Hunterston B. Attempts were made to keep the plant operational, but inspections revealed issues with parts in the reactor’s boilers that cannot be replaced. A spokesman for National Grid said it remains confident that carbon emissions can be slashed to zero for “set periods” from 2025. He said: “We have done quite a lot of work to find new ways to operate the grid without needing baseload (such as nuclear). “It used to be that you needed these big power stations to keep everything safe and secure and stable, but there are lots of new processes and techniques we can use on wind farms to do this.”
Telegraph 7th June 2021 read more »
EDF has since spent £200 million trying to repair the plant. Although it mended the pipework, it discovered further issues, including corrosion to its boilers, which cannot be replaced. EDF was repeatedly forced to delay its restart and yesterday said that “new detailed analysis has further highlighted additional station-specific risks within some key components, including parts within the fuel assemblies . . . As a result, EDF has taken a decision not to restart the plant but to move it into the defuelling stage.”
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