EDF Hartlepool Power Station shuts down nuclear reactor for nine weeks in planned £30million maintenance programme

A nuclear reactor at Hartlepool power station has been taken out of service for a £30million maintenance programme that will see hundreds of extra workers on site.

By Mark Payne
Tuesday, 13 August, 2019, 16:45
Hartlepool power station from the air.

The shutdown will allow more than 1,200 pieces of work to be carried out over the next nine weeks after two years of planning.

Around 500 extra workers will join the site’s 700-strong team which bosses say will provide a boost to the local economy.

The maintenance periods, known as statutory outages, take place every three years and are planned in advance with the National Grid to make sure there is no impact on the national electricity supply.

Hartlepool power station director Craig Dohring said: “We produce enough low carbon electricity for around two million homes each and every day.

“We only deliver that by continually investing in our people and the power station and this shutdown is part of that programme.”

The extensive programme of work will include inspections inside the reactor – one of two the station has – as well as the installation of new equipment.

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One of the biggest projects will be replacing a generator transformer which increases the voltage in the site’s electricity before it is sent to the grid.

Hartlepool’s other reactor is due to continue operating normally throughout the maintenance period.Craig added: “These planned statutory outages bring significant benefits to the local community creating extra work and proving a boost to local business including engineering workshops, food suppliers, shops, hotels, restaurants and taxi services.”

A similar planned shutdown happened at the start of last year when three huge steam powered turbines were replaced as part of essential maintenance works.

The EDF power station is due to come to the end of its lifespan in five years time.

But Craig said the site will be a place of employment for many years to come as there is a lot of work involved in decommissioning such a site.

In June, it was reported that the power station is among highest rates payers in the UK with an annual bill of £9.1million.