For developing and implementing an innovative method of refuelling Wylfa nuclear power station’s Reactor 1. The transfer of fuel from Reactor 2 has allowed for continued energy generation at the site.
Wylfa nuclear power station on Anglesey has relied on a regular supply of new fuel to enable electricity generation. As part of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) strategy, the date for final shutdown of its two reactors was originally coordinated with closure of the Springfields fuel manufacturing plant and the spent-fuel reprocessing plant at Sellafield.
Physicists at Magnox recognised that generation could continue at Wylfa if low-irradiation fuel from the permanently shut-down reactor was transferred to the remaining operational reactor. The Inter-Reactor Transfer project was the first of its kind in the UK, and required the team to overcome several challenges in the areas of reactor operation, fuel management and plant safety as well as meeting practical, physical and regulatory constraints.
The innovation is extending energy generation at Wylfa by around three years and having a huge impact on the local and national economy. On Anglesey 157 jobs have been saved and a qualified, experienced work force has been retained. The project has the potential to generate an estimated extra 2.6 TW of electricity – providing an extra £100 million of income for the NDA.
Magnox Ltd, owned by Cavendish Fluor Partnership Ltd, is the site-licence company responsible for safely managing ten nuclear sites and one hydroelectric plant in the UK working for the sites’ owner, the NDA. The Reactor Physics, Faults & Hazards team is based at Oldbury Technical Centre, Oldbury-on-Severn.