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Berkeley Nuclear Power Station

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Berkeley nuclear power station is a disused Magnox power station situated on the bank of the River Severn in Gloucestershire, England.

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 2.493611°W / 51.6925; -2.493611Coordinates: 51°41′33″N 2°29′37″W / 51.6925°N 2.493611°W / 51.6925; -2.493611
Commission date1962
Decommission date1989
Nuclear power station
Thermal power station
Primary fuelNuclear
External links
CommonsRelated media on Commons

grid reference ST6588599471


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.

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.[4]

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 following its closure in 1989. 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.[5] 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.[6]

The site in 2014

In March 2012 five of the 310-tonne boilers were moved from the station to Sweden for decontamination and recycling.[7][8]

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.[9][10] This became operational in 2014.[11]

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.

Berkeley Nuclear LaboratoriesEdit

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.[12]

By 2016 the site, and some surrounding land, was converted into a 50-acre 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.[13][14][12]Alongside which was built a University Technical College. The site now accommodates a large number of prestige occupiers including Bloodhound LSR and Gloucestershire Police.

See alsoEdit


  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. ^ Munsey, Myles (2018). Railway Track Diagrams Book 3: Western & Wales. Frome: Trackmaps. pp. 16C. ISBN 9781999627102.
  5. ^ "Decommissioning at Berkeley Power Station – UK". World Nuclear Association. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ "title unknown". Bristol Evening Post. 29 February 2012.
  8. ^ "Berkeley nuclear power station boilers Sweden trip". BBC NewsGloucestershire. 19 March 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  9. ^ "Berkeley named as preferred nuclear waste site". BBC. 3 December 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  10. ^ Mark Janicki (26 November 2013). "Iron boxes for ILW transport and storage". Nuclear Engineering International. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  11. ^ "New UK waste facilities completed". World Nuclear News. 16 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Transformation of former nuclear site into college campus and business park". Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. 30 October 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  13. ^ Bisknell, Eddie (2 December 2016). "Groundbreaking SGS engineering college opens in Berkeley Green". Gazette. Stroud. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  14. ^ "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 linksEdit