Berkeley nuclear power station

Berkeley nuclear power station is a former Magnox nuclear power station situated on the bank of the River Severn in Gloucestershire, England. The ongoing decommissioning process is being managed by Nuclear Decommissioning Authority subsidiary Magnox Ltd.

Berkeley nuclear power station
One of the two reactor blocks in 1981
LocationGloucestershire, South West England
Coordinates51°41′33″N 2°29′37″W / 51.6925°N 2.4936°W / 51.6925; -2.4936
StatusDecommissioning in progress
Construction began1956
Commission date1962
Decommission date1989
Owner(s)Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
Operator(s)Magnox Ltd
Nuclear power station
Reactor typeMagnox
Thermal power station
Primary fuelNuclear
Cooling towersNone
Cooling sourceSea water
Power generation
Units operational4 × 83 MW
Nameplate capacity
  • 276 MW
Annual net output1,003.923 GWh (in 1980/1)
External links
CommonsRelated media on Commons

grid reference ST6588599471

History Edit

The construction of the power station, which was undertaken by a consortium of AEI and John Thompson,[1] began in 1956.[2] It had two Magnox reactors producing 276 megawatts (MW) in total – enough electricity on a typical day to serve an urban area the size of Bristol. The reactors were supplied by The Nuclear Power Group (TNPG) and the turbines by AEI.[3] Electricity generation started in 1962 and ran for 27 years to 1989.[4]

Nuclear fuel for Berkeley power station was delivered and removed via the nearest railhead, a loading facility on the Sharpness single railway line. This included a dedicated siding and a gantry crane.[5]

Specification Edit

Berkeley had four 83 MW turbo-alternator generators, giving a gross capability of 334.4 MW and a net capability of 276 MW.[6] The steam conditions at the turbine stop valve were 20.3 / 3.9 bars (2,030 / 390 kPa) and 319 / 316 °C (606 / 601 °F). In the year 1978/9 the station generated 1,392.63 GWh, and in 1980/1 the station generated 1,003.923 GWh, The overall thermal efficiency of the station in 1981 was 21.12 per cent.[6]

Closure Edit

Reactor 2 was shut down in October 1988, followed by Reactor 1 in March 1989. Berkeley was the first commercial nuclear power station in the United Kingdom to be decommissioned. So far the nuclear decommissioning process has involved the removal of all fuel from the site in 1992, and the demolition of structures such as the turbine hall in 1995 and cooling ponds in 2001.[7] The next step of decommissioning will be the care and maintenance stage of the nuclear reactor structures, scheduled to commence in 2026, until radioactive decay means that they can be demolished and the site completely cleared between 2070 and 2080.[8]

The site in 2014

In March 2012, five of the 310 long tons (310 t) boilers were moved from the station to Sweden for decontamination and recycling.[9][10]

In December 2013, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority selected Berkeley as the preferred interim store for intermediate-level waste from the decommissioned Oldbury nuclear power station.[11][12] This became operational in 2014.[13]

Berkeley is one of four nuclear power stations located close to the mouth of the River Severn and the Bristol Channel, the others being Oldbury, Hinkley Point A and Hinkley Point B. As of 2021, a fifth, Hinkley Point C, is under construction. The surrounding area is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Protection Area (SPA) and a RAMSAR wetland of international importance.[4]

In May 2023, a £30.8 million (US$38.8 million) contract was awarded to Altrad for the design, asbestos removal, deplant, demolition and construction works which will take place and conclude in the full removal of the four blower houses that surround the reactor buildings. This was previously slated to be completed when the reactor buildings themselves are demolished in the 2070s.[14]

Berkeley Nuclear Laboratories Edit

Just south of the power station were Berkeley Nuclear Laboratories, one of the UK’s three main nuclear power industry research centres. At its peak about 750 staff worked at the labs including 200 scientists and engineers.[15]

By 2023, the site and some surrounding land was converted into a 50-acre (20-hectare) technology park now called Gloucestershire Science & Technology Park, by a subsidiary of South Gloucestershire and Stroud College. At the centre of the site the former engineering rig hall, building D24, the John Huggett Engineering Hall, was converted into a college engineering campus.[16][17][15] Alongside which was built a university technical college. The site now accommodates Bloodhound LSR and Gloucestershire Constabulary.

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ "The UK Magnox and AGR Power Station Projects – Appendix A&B" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  2. ^ "Nuclear energy past, present and future". The Nuclear Industry Association. Archived from the original on 29 June 2007. Retrieved 21 November 2007.
  3. ^ "Nuclear Power Plants in the UK – England". Archived from the original on 19 July 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Berkeley". Office For Nuclear Regulation. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
  5. ^ Munsey, Myles (2018). Railway Track Diagrams Book 3: Western & Wales. Frome: Trackmaps. pp. 16C. ISBN 9781999627102.
  6. ^ a b CEGB Statistical Yearbook, 1981, CEGB, London.
  7. ^ "Decommissioning at Berkeley Power Station – UK". World Nuclear Association. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  8. ^ "The 2010 UK Radioactive Waste Inventory: Main Report" (PDF). Nuclear Decommissioning Agency/Department of Energy & Climate Change. February 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  9. ^ "title unknown". Bristol Evening Post. 29 February 2012.
  10. ^ "Berkeley nuclear power station boilers Sweden trip". BBC NewsGloucestershire. 19 March 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  11. ^ "Berkeley named as preferred nuclear waste site". BBC. 3 December 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  12. ^ Mark Janicki (26 November 2013). "Iron boxes for ILW transport and storage". Nuclear Engineering International. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  13. ^ "New UK waste facilities completed". World Nuclear News. 16 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  14. ^ "Berkeley decommissioning work brought forward 50 years". World Nuclear News. 11 May 2023. Retrieved 11 May 2023.
  15. ^ a b "Transformation of former nuclear site into college campus and business park". Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. 30 October 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  16. ^ Bisknell, Eddie (2 December 2016). "Groundbreaking SGS engineering college opens in Berkeley Green". Gazette. Stroud. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  17. ^ "Kier Construction Director visits SGS Berkeley Green, as vision becomes a reality for new college campus". SGS Berkeley Green UTC. 16 August 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2019.

External links Edit