August 23, 2010 / 11:37 AM / 9 years ago

Magnox aims to run UK Oldbury reactor until mid-2012

LONDON, Aug 23 (Reuters) - British nuclear power operator Magnox North wants to run one of its two 220-megawatt (MW) Oldbury units near Bristol until mid-2012, the company said on Monday.

“We’re looking at operating one reactor until 2012. In terms of which reactor that is we don’t know yet because that’s part of early feasibility work,” a Magnox North spokeswoman said.

The fuel produced for operating Oldbury’s nuclear reactors is running out and stocks are not large enough to support two reactors, she added.

Oldbury 1 is currently due to shut down at the end of June 2011 and Oldbury 2 is required to stop generating electricity at the end of this year.

Magnox North is awaiting a decision from the Nuclear Directorate (ND), part of Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), to extend the operating time of its Oldbury 2 reactor until June 2011 to bring it in line with the second unit.

After the verdict has been given, the operator will decide which reactor will form part of an extension request until mid-2012.

“We won’t look at a further extension until next year,” the Magnox North spokeswoman said.

The operator also owns two nuclear reactors, feeding into four 310-MW turbines, at Wylfa on Anglesey which are also due for shutdown on Dec. 31, 2010.

“We are still working to extend the operational time. It will probably be Autumn before we know,” a spokeswoman for Wylfa said.

Nuclear power consortium Horizon, grouping German energy rivals EON EONG.DE and RWE (RWEG.DE), bought sites at Oldbury and Wylfa to construct new nuclear plants.

The Horizon joint venture has pledged to build 6,000 MW in new nuclear capacity in Britain by 2025. (Reporting by Karolin Schaps)

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