EDF Energy (EDF.PA) has decided to move Britain’s Dungeness B nuclear power station in Kent into the defuelling phase with immediate effect, it said on Monday.
The two reactors at the plant have been offline since 2018, due to an extended outage in which EDF has been managing a range of “unique, significant and ongoing technical challenges” not found in other British reactors, it said.
“As a result, EDF has taken a decision not to restart the plant but to move it into the defuelling stage,” it added.
EDF previously said it may bring forward the decommissioning date of the 1.1 gigawatt (GW) plant from 2028. The plant has been in operation since 1983 read more
“EDF has had to make a hard decision – but it is the right one. It gives our teams, our community and our business a clear understanding of the future,” John Benn, station director at Dungeness B said in a statement.
Defuelling is the first stage of decommissioning a nuclear power station and a process which involves continued use of EDF staff and specialist supply chain companies, EDF said.
The retirement of Dungeness B underscored the urgency of investing in new nuclear capacity to hit net zero, said Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association.
EDF will also decommission four reactors at Hunterston and Hinkley Point by mid-2022. L5N2NP53M
The phasing out of ageing nuclear and coal-fired power plants, combined with declining North Sea oil and gas output, is putting pressure on Britain to develop new sources of energy and build new nuclear plants, something it has not done in around three decades. read more
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Read More: EDF Energy starts defuelling phase of Dungeness B with immediate effect