Sizewell B nuclear power station in Suffolk was put back into service at the weekend after planned refuelling and maintenance work. The station, which generates enough reliable low carbon electricity to meet three per cent of the UK’s demand, is taken offline every 18 months for this work to take place. A third of the fuel is replaced in the reactor and thousands of maintenance jobs are completed during the eight week period. An additional 1,500 specialist workers joined the station’s 550 employees to complete the work which included major projects such as replacing the low pressure rotor on a turbine generator. Inside the Sizewell dome the 10 year routine inspection of the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) was completed and all four steam generators examined. Specialist robotic equipment controlled by skilled engineers was used to complete this work. EDF Energy confirmed that the RPV met its strict safety requirements and following the inspections, the independent nuclear regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation confirmed that it was satisfied with the integrity of the pressure vessel. The ONR also said it had reviewed reports that demonstrate Sizewell B RPV dome is not affected by a carbon segregation issue, subject of scrutiny at France’s Flamanville nuclear plant. During the inspections, EDF Energy was able to independently confirm that Sizewell B is not affected by issues under investigation at Areva’s Creusot Forge in France. Areva subsequently confirmed that no parts under investigation from the forge had been supplied to Sizewell B.
EDF Energy 20th June 2016 read more »