Dungeness B reactor to be taken off grid for £30m maintenance programme

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One of the reactors at a nuclear power station will be powered down at the end of summer for a multi-million pound maintenance programme.

Dungeness B, which has two reactors, will see one, known as Unit 22, taken off the grid at the end of August for a 12-week, £30m inspection which will see hundreds of extra workers descend on the site.

The process is known as a statutory outage.

Strategic outage manager Keith Hartley, left, and operations manager Steve Lay (3701047)
Strategic outage manager Keith Hartley, left, and operations manager Steve Lay (3701047)

Station director, Ian Stewart, explained: “The outage will give us the chance to do inspections and carry out more than 12,000 separate pieces of work that are not possible when the reactor is operating.

“This will help to ensure that Dungeness B can continue safely producing low-carbon electricity for 1.5 million UK homes until at least 2028.

“We look forward to welcoming around 500 extra workers to the station who will also provide a significant boost to the local economy by staying in surrounding hotels and B&B’s, eating in restaurants and using local taxi firms.”

Dungeness B power station (3701037)
Dungeness B power station (3701037)

Statutory outages are carried out on each of the station’s two reactors every three years and are planned in advance with the National Grid to ensure that there is no impact on the national electricity supply.

So far in 2018, Dungeness B has generated 5 TWh, providing enough low-carbon electricity to power an area similar in size to Kent and Sussex combined.

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