A new dawn as Hinkley Point B ends generation

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After more than 46 years generating home grown zero-carbon electricity, Somerset powerhouse Hinkley Point B has today switched off its second reactor.

The station first produced power when Abba’s Mamma Mia was at the top of the charts in 1976. Today it ends its run as the most productive nuclear power station the country has ever had.

Mike Davies, Station Director of Hinkley Point B, said: “This is a day of mixed emotions for all of us. We are justifiably proud of everything this station and its workforce have given to Somerset, and indeed the country, over decades of operations. The huge amount of electricity we’ve produced could have met the needs of every home in the South West for 33 years.

“There is much to be proud of. This tiny corner of Somerset has produced huge amounts of zero-carbon electricity, supported and enriched our community and helped sustain the South West nuclear sector by providing thousands well-paid, high skilled jobs to our community.

“Now our attention turns to the job of defueling the power station.“

Over the coming weeks and months, teams at Hinkley Point B will undertake major maintenance and improvement projects across the plant to get it ready for the next stage of its life, defueling. This process, expected to last around three to four years, involves removing the remaining nuclear fuel from the reactors and transporting it to Sellafield for storage.

Once that work is complete EDF will hand the station to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority for the next step of its life, decommissioning.

Mike added: “When a power station is generating it looks, sounds and smells a certain way. It’s a familiar experience that most people who work here, or who are familiar with our site know and, to some degree, love.

“But all that changed today as our turbines slowed and stopped for the final time. Of course we’ve had that experience when we’ve been on outages – but we’ve always known they’d be back on again and we’d be generating.

“Now we have a new job and a huge amount of interesting work to do. I’m excited for Somerset that Hinkley Point C is taking shape on our horizon but I also know that thanks to this station, and everything it’s achieved, our colleagues have got very big boots to fill.”