The UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has announced that Wylfa unit 1 – the world’s last operating Magnox reactor – closed yesterday. The unit had generated electricity for five years longer than originally planned. The two units at Wylfa were both scheduled to shut down at the end of 2012, but Magnox Ltd – which manages and operates the plant on behalf of its owner, the NDA – decided to shut down unit 2 in April 2012 so that unit 1 could continue operating in order to fully utilize existing stocks of fuel, which is no longer being manufactured. In September last year, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) approved the plant’s latest periodic safety review and permitted the continued operation of unit 1 until the end of 2015. Stuart Law, the Wylfa site director, said in the NDA statement that the closure marked “a safe and dignified end to the generation of electricity at Wylfa, and indeed for Magnox”.
World Nuclear News 31st Dec 2015 read more »
This was the moment 44 years of electricity generation came to an end at Wales’ last remaining nuclear power plant.
Daily Post 31st Dec 2015 read more »
The account of the 44 years’ operating life of the reactor omits one very important aspect: the production of plutonium for use in nuclear warheads, both in Britain and the US. This was first revealed in an exclusive front page Western Mail story by your then political editor, Sarah Neville, on 8 October 1984. It was followed in more detail by former Labour MP for Blaenau Gwent, Llew Smith – for whom I used to do research – on in a feature article in the Western Mail on 3 March 1986, followed up by a letter in the paper from Mr Smith (“Safety problems at Wylfa Nuclear plant, “11 December 1995).
David Lowry’s Blog 31st Dec 2015 read more »