Lifetime support contract for AGRs

19 February 2014

Doosan Babcock is to provide ongoing operational support for all of the UK's Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors (AGRs) as well as work to support life extension projects under an agreement signed with EDF Energy.

EDF Energy plans to operate Dungeness B until 2028 (Image: EDF Energy)

The Lifetime Enterprise Agreement is the culmination of two years of detailed planning by both companies and will only end when the last of the seven AGR power plants ceases power generation. Under current plans, that would be in 2023 - although EDF Energy recently confirmed that it expects to extend the operating life of the Dungeness B nuclear power plant to 2028.

Doosan Babcock nuclear service director Cameron Gilmour said the agreement would give EDF Energy access to his company's range of specialist skills and technologies, which includes reactor repair and maintenance, reactor vessel-entry services and high-end project, engineering and technical services. Meanwhile, EDF Energy director of nuclear operations Brian Cowell said that Doosan Babcock's unique range of nuclear engineering skills and capabilities made it the "ideal partner" for the lifetime agreement.

AGRs are unique to the UK. A total of 14 AGRs were built at seven sites from the mid-1970s to the late 1980s, and along with the UK's only pressurized water reactor are now owned and operated by EDF Energy. The sole remaining operational Magnox reactor, Wylfa 1, is owned by the UK's Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and operated by Magnox Ltd. It is due to shut down in September.

EDF Energy plans to build up to four new UK EPR pressurized water reactor units with a final investment decision for the first of these, Hinkley Point C, anticipated after the conclusion of ongoing European Commission scrutiny of government support for the project.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News