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Millions of pounds are to be spent on a major investment project at a power station in Romney Marsh.
One of two nuclear reactors at Dungeness B power station will be shut down today for maintenance on the reactor and machinery, including the turbine which generates electricity.
In total, 12,000 separate projects are scheduled to be completed at the site at the same time, with a total spend of £25 million.
Station director Martin Pearson said: “This is a huge programme of works which will help to ensure Dungeness B can continue to operate, providing jobs and contributing to the local economy.
“The significant investment from the company shows EDF Energy’s confidence in the future of Dungeness B.
"Our staff and contractors have worked extremely hard in the planning process and are geared up to deliver the last major project before we make a decision on extending the operating life of the plant beyond 2018.”
The projects include the inspection of the turbine rotors and a programme to inspect the fuel channels on the reactor.
This type of work is carried out every three years at the power station and is known as an “outage”.
During the outage the number of workers on site will double, with around 550 specialist workers brought in to assist the existing staff.
The other reactor and turbine will continue to generate low carbon electricity while the project is carried out.
Earlier this week it emerged that one of the reactors at the power station was shut down for two months last year over fears the facility had inadequate flood defences.
Dungeness B power station has been generating enough power for more than 1.5 million homes since it started operating just over 30 years ago.
Its current scheduled closing date is 2018 however EDF Energy hopes to be able to extend its life for a further ten years, to 2028.
The station employs more than 550 permanent staff as well as over 200 contract partners to ensure the safe reliable generation of power.
As well as local employment, nearby firms are set to benefit from supporting the outage.
This includes many hotels and bed and breakfasts hosting contractors who have been brought in for the project while they are based at the station.
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