Berkeley Nuclear Power Station
|Berkeley nuclear power station|
One of the two reactor blocks in 1981
|Location||Gloucestershire, South West England|
|Nuclear power station|
|Thermal power station|
|Commons||Related media on Commons|
The construction of the power station, which was undertaken by a consortium of AEI and John Thompson began in 1956. 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. 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.
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. 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.
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. This became operational in 2014.
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.
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.Alongside which was built a University Technical College. The site now accommodates a large number of prestige occupiers including Bloodhound LSR and Gloucestershire Police.
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