February 10, 2016
1,000 extra Hinkley B workers 'boost local economy' in Burnham area

More than a 1,000 extra workers have been hired to join Hinkley Point B power station near Burnham-On-Sea to help carry out a major maintenance programme.

Site operator EDF Energy says the influx of workers could provide an economic boost to the area.

One of the nuclear reactors has already been taken out of service to allow inspections to take place inside the reactor. New equipment will also be installed at the plant.

The additional workers will carry out 12,000 separate pieces of work. The biggest projects include replacing two large gas circulators which help cool the reactor, as well as replacing electrical transformers used to support the transmission of low carbon electricity.

The outage – which takes place every three years - has been planned in advance with National Grid to ensure that there is no impact on the national electricity supply.

Hinkley Point B's other reactor is due to continue operating normally throughout the eight week outage period.

Station director Peter Evans said: "This inspection and investment programme is just one part of our much wider commitment to ensuring the continued safe production of low carbon electricity."

"It's also good news for the local economy as the extra workers bring additional money into local shops, taxis, restaurants, B&Bs and hotels."

The project is overseen by outage manager, Mike Davies, who said: "Taking the reactor out of service means we can inspect it and carry out maintenance which we wouldn't normally be able to do."

"Inspections will take place inside the reactor as well as in its boilers and the graphite core. We'll be working closely with our contractors and nuclear engineering specialists from across the country to get this work done on time."

Hinkley Point B employs around 535 full-time staff and more than 220 full-time contract partners.

To date it has generated enough low carbon electricity to power around 60 million homes. Its two reactors still produce enough electricity for approximately one and a half million properties each year.

By generating electricity from nuclear power instead of fossil fuels, Hinkley Point B has avoided the production of around 187 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and equivalent greenhouse gases (CO2e) - the equivalent of taking all passenger cars off UK roads for just under two and a half years.

Hinkley Point B is scheduled to continue operating until 2023 although it is subject to ongoing review of its safety case by the nuclear safety regulator.


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