Final fuel loaded at Sizewell A
Refuelling on Sizewell A’s nuclear reactors has been completed with the last fuel now loaded into both reactors.
This is a significant milestone for Sizewell A, marking the end of routine refuelling of its twin Magnox reactors. That fuel will remain in the reactors until defuelling commences in 2007 as part of the site’s decommissioning activities.
Following cessation of electrical generation at Sizewell A, planned for 31 December 2006 and following 40 years of safe production, the site will enter a programme of reactor defuelling and parallel decommissioning. Magnox Electric Ltd, by undertaking these activities in parallel, is aiming to deliver value for money for its customer the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).
Early 2007 at Sizewell A should see the commencement of defuelling; a process expected to be completed in 2009. On completion, 99% of the radiological hazard will have been removed from the site.
Once the station ceases generation the workforce will be re-distributed across the site in order to make conventional buildings available for deplanting and demolition. Around 180 staff will be relocated to a new modular building designed to facilitate effective delivery of defuelling and decommissioning projects.
The decommissioning programme at Sizewell A is currently scheduled to take around 100 years, although this period could be reduced in line with the NDA’s strategy. Following defuelling and initial decommissioning work, the site will be prepared for a ‘care and maintenance’ phase which will see the reactor building maintained in a passively safe state for a period of 85 years. Final site clearance will be undertaken between 2102 and 2110.