Fuel transfer to keep Wylfa 1 running

The UK’s last operating Magnox reactor, Wylfa 1, will be able to continue generating electricity until September 2014 after regulatory approval was given for the transfer of partially-used fuel from its shut down sister unit.

The two units at Wylfa were both scheduled to shut down at the end of 2012, but Magnox Ltd – which manages and operates the Wylfa plant on behalf of owner the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) – decided to shut down unit 2 in April so that unit 1 could continue operating until 2014 in order to fully utilize existing stocks of fuel, which is no longer being manufactured.

The plant received its final delivery of fresh Magnox fuel in December 2011 and Magnox Ltd requested regulatory approval to transfer partially used fuel from unit 2 to unit 1. This is relatively simple task thanks to a shared service floor and refuelling machine.

According to Magnox Ltd, “The additional income from Wylfa and Oldbury, which closed in February after generating electricity for four years longer than originally scheduled, is so far estimated to be worth around £600 million ($940 million).”

Courtesy of WNN