Extended Wylfa 1 operation proposed

09 October 2013

Electricity generation from the UK's last operating Magnox reactor could be extended by 15 months to the end of 2015 under a proposal submitted to the British nuclear regulator.

Wylfa 1 - 460 (Magnox)
Wylfa 1 is currently set to close down next year (Image: Magnox Ltd)

Magnox Ltd has submitted a ten-yearly periodic safety review for the Wylfa site to the Office for Nuclear Regulation detailing activities at Wylfa over the next ten years, including "generation to the end of December 2015" at unit 1.

The two units at Wylfa were both scheduled to shut down at the end of 2012, but Magnox Ltd - which manages and operates the plant on behalf of owner the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority - decided to shut down unit 2 in April 2012 so that unit 1 could continue operating until the end of September 2014 in order to fully utilize existing stocks of fuel, which is no longer being manufactured.

Magnox reactors are graphite-moderated, gas-cooled and use all-metal, slightly enriched uranium fuel. They can trace their roots back to the earliest days of nuclear technology: the world's first commercial nuclear power station, Calder Hall, was a Magnox reactor. The design takes its name from the magnesium alloy cladding used on the uranium fuel. The UK built a fleet of 26 Magnox reactors of which Wylfa's two 490 MWe units, commissioned in 1971, were the last and the biggest.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News