Nuclear Station Closes for Maintenance After Setting Service Record

Noria news wires
Tags: maintenance and reliability

The Heysham 2 nuclear power station’s reactor in Lancashire, England, was recently taken out of service for planned maintenance after a record of 940 days of continuous operation. The record run beat the mark previously held for 22 years by the Pickering nuclear power station in Canada.

During the run, the Heysham 2 reactor produced more than 14 terawatt hours, which is enough electricity to power 3.4 million homes for a year.

"This excellent performance only happens with lots of planning, investment and total commitment from a very professional team of people here at Heysham 2," said John Munro, Heysham 2 station director. "The investment in the plant during the planned maintenance shutdown will support the plant’s lifetime extension."

The planned maintenance work at Heysham 2 will include camera inspections inside the reactor as well as the installation of new equipment. The biggest projects will be replacing two large gas circulators that help cool the reactor.

The maintenance periods, known as “statutory outages,” take place every three years and are planned in advance to ensure there is no impact on the national electricity supply. Heysham 2’s other reactor is due to continue operating normally throughout the period.

EDF Energy’s Torness power station in Scotland is scheduled to break Heysham 2’s record in February 2017. It is expected to reach 996 continuous days of operation when it shuts down for planned maintenance in April 2017.

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