One of the two reactors at Hinkley Point B nuclear power station near Burnham-On-Sea went offline on Friday (28th September) at the start of a £25m planned maintenance project.

An extensive programme of work is now underway in which hundreds of inspections will take place, as well as the installation of new equipment.

More than 1,000 specialist contractors have joined EDF’s employees in working on the project during the shutdown.

EDF Strategic Outage Manager Nick Wall added: “Having the reactor offline makes it possible to inspect and undertake maintenance we wouldn’t normally be able to do. Inspections will take place on the reactor’s fuel channels and boiler pipe-work as well as the reactor core itself. The unit’s electricity generating turbine will also see enhancement work and maintenance.”

“It is a one-company approach and we are working hand in hand with our 1,000 contract partners to deliver this project safely and to time.”

Reactor 3, which supplies low carbon electricity to more than 500,000 homes, has stopped generating power until the completion of the work. The other reactor at Hinkley Point B is set to continue operating normally throughout the period. Each reactor is shutdown for a programme of inspection and maintenance once every three years as part of the safety case to continue operating the power station.

Station Director Mike Harrison said: “This inspection and investment programme will help enable us to continue generating power safely and reliably at Hinkley B for many years to come. A full two years of planning precedes this work. It’s also positive for the local economy, with the knock-on benefits for local shops, taxis, restaurants and accommodation providers.”

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