The main control room at Magnox’s Sizewell A Site is now silent for the first time in more than half a century.
Home to an array of buttons, switches and dials controlling the former power station, the facility has kept the site’s heart beating 24 hours a day since generation began in the 1966.
Steve Pybus, who has worked in the facility for more than 20 years, said: “A significant period of my life, and that of my colleagues, has been spent operating the station from here. People often say it resembles something like the starship Enterprise, and coincidentally Star Trek was first broadcast in the same year that generation at Sizewell began. It is a sad and historic moment to see it empty, but a lot of work has been undertaken to prepare for this moment.”
The move, which will eventually lead to the area being dismantled, is part of an extensive programme to gear up for decommissioning. It follows regulatory agreement that the site, which generated 110 terawatt hours of electricity during a 40 year period, is now fuel free. Confirmation that the 52,000 fuel elements previously held in Sizewell’s two reactors have left the site means that 99 per cent of the radioactive hazard has been removed.
Site Director, Tim Watkins, added: “While this is the end of an era, it is very much a sign that decommissioning is starting to take shape. Magnox is leading the way at cleaning up this first generation of reactors in the UK and we will be applying all of the lessons we have learned at other sites to safely move Sizewell A to its closure point while delivering best value for the taxpayer.”
You can watch ITV Anglia’s report below: