Planned maintenance shutdown at Heysham nuclear power station will include £30m investment

Staff at Heysham 2 are starting a planned maintenance shutdown on one of its reactors which will see more than £30m invested into the power station.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 10:58 am
Updated Friday, 21st May 2021, 11:00 am

Last year the station carried out a similar programme on reactor 8 as the Covid crisis developed.

Power station bosses said this shutdown will also be carefully managed to protect the staff and community against the on-going pandemic.

Specialist laboratories have been brought to the site to enable quick and accurate testing of the site’s staff, and the extra contractors who will support the maintenance shutdown.

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Last year the station carried out a similar programme on reactor 8 as the Covid crisis developed.

Mark Lees, station director at Heysham 2, said: “We learned a lot last spring on how to safely manage such an intense piece of work with the added pressure of the pandemic.

"We will repeat and enhance all the precautions we already have in place and we have boosted those measures by bringing in the testing labs.

“These shutdowns allow us to carry out maintenance and inspection work which can only be done when the reactor is turned off.

"There’s a lot of work planned in the next two months including taking samples of our graphite core to understand its condition.”

Around £30m will be invested in maintenance activities and plant improvements, many linked to ensuring the station has greater reliability and resilience.

This includes inspecting and replacing four gas circulators, which are huge ‘fans’ which circulate pressurised carbon dioxide around the reactor.

During the shutdown up to 1,000 extra temporary staff will be drafted in to support EDF’s team, many drawn from Heysham, Morecambe and Lancaster.

Mark said: “We hope that this shutdown will give a boost to the local economy, especially as we come out of lockdown.

"Our contract partners do stay locally and support the businesses in the area.”