(menafn – ecpulse)
After 45 years of operation, Oldbury nuclear power station located near Thornbury, South Gloucestershire, U.K., the world’s oldest running nuclear plant will be shut down on Wednesday, starting the countdown for the new nuclear plant scheduled to start operating in 2025 as demand on energy is rising.
Oldbury nuclear power station was built in the 1930s and began generating power in 1967. After almost 45 years, the plant will stop generating power, since continued operations was no longer economically viable, said The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Magnox, owner of the site.
In 2011 the plant turned off reactor two, while reactor one was scheduled to be shut down in 2008, however it was decided to extend the operational life till 2012. Meanwhile, the main reactor building “will not be pulled down until about 2100 when the radioactive levels in the building become safe”, said the BBC.
Most of the plant’s 460 staff will continue working on site for another 1 to 2 years in order to dismantle the plant as the remaining fuel needs to be removed and reprocessed; then the staff will drop to about 360. Estimations indicate that taking Oldbury out of action and clearing the site will cost around 1.5 billion.
“It'll be a sad day but there's plenty of other things to do”, said station director Phil Sprauge. “Control room staff requested not to press the shutdown button, saying 'I don't want it to be me. Some of the workers got quite emotional; they have worked here for 40 years”, he added.
Just a few hundred meters away a new nuclear station is expected to start operating in 2025, with a capacity more than six times of the current stations, built by Horizon Nuclear Power, a German joint venture formed by E.On and RWE, as the British government continues to be in favor of nuclear power in order to reduce carbon emissions.