Oldbury to continue operating into 2009

18 December 2008

The UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) announced that the UK's oldest operating nuclear power station, the two-unit Oldbury plant, which was due to shut down at the end of 2008, will now continue operating for around another two years. It said that unit 2 will continue operating into 2009, while unit 1 remains offline awaiting approval by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) to restart. Earlier this year, the NDA appealed to the NII to extend the life of Oldbury as part of plans to raise more money for decommissioning. The NDA said in September that changing economic circumstances and rising electricity prices made it increasingly feasible that life extensions would become economically viable considering the investment in safety upgrades that will be needed. The plant, comprising twin 217 MWe Magnox generators, is operated by Magnox North Sites on behalf of the NDA. Brian Burnett, NDA's program director, commented: "Oldbury's continued generation is good news as it ensures further benefit from one of the NDA's valuable assets. The income generated over the extension period will be utilised to support our clean-up mission and Oldbury will continue to contribute to the UK's electricity supply as it has done for the last 40 years."