Following news that the Dungeness B Nuclear power station has been given license to operate for another 10 years, we’ve learned that Sizewell B has too been approved to operate until 2025.
The UK Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has approved the periodic safety review for the nation’s only pressurised water reactor. These reviews are carried out every 10 years at all nuclear power stations in the UK. The audit examines the stations operating history, measuring against 37 points across 12 sections including safety, equipment, integrity of materials, and containment.
The review also looks at the experiences of other nuclear stations around the world to see if lessons can be learned.
"It takes five years of planning and 200 people from within and outside the business to scrutinise every area of Sizewell B to ensure it meets current standards of operation," explained Jim Crawford, Sizewell B Station Director.
EDF Energy, which operates the plant, said that the periodic safety review is the second to be carried out since the station went online in 1995.
"The PSR highlighted opportunities for improvement which will be programmed into the station's enhancement plans. This work will form the maintenance tasks carried out every18months when the station is brought offline to refuel," Crawford added.
EDF are apparently already making plans for Sizewell B’s next PSR in 2025 which, if success will carry the station through to its design life in 2035. However the energy company expressed an interest in 2013 extending Sizewell B’s life expectancy to 2055.
Sizewell B has generated 173 TWh of low carbon electricity from commissioning to the end of 2014. This has saved over 117 million tonnes of CO2e which is equivalent to taking all of the passenger cars off UK roads for just under 2 years.