LONDON (Reuters) - Nuclear operator Magnox received approval from the nuclear regulator late on Tuesday to extend the lifetime of its Oldbury 2 nuclear reactor until June 30, 2011, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
“We received a letter of no objection last night from the NII (Nuclear Installations Inspectorate), to allow generation of Oldbury’s reactor 2 until 30 June 2011,” she said.
The 220-megawatt (MW) reactor was due to shut down between February 11-14 as it reached the end of its allowed generation time.
The lifetime extension now brings the reactor’s operations in line with Oldbury 1, which is also due to shut down at the end of June.
Magnox said it was still possible that it would apply for an operational extension until mid-2012 for one of its Oldbury reactors.
“It’s still a work in progress,” another spokeswoman said.
The fuel produced for running the nuclear reactors is running low and stocks are not large enough to feed both reactors until 2012.
The 1,240-MW Wylfa nuclear plant, also managed by Magnox, was last year granted an operational lifetime extension until December 2012.
German nuclear power consortium Horizon, made up of utilities RWE and EON, purchased sites at Oldbury and Wylfa to build up to 6,000 MW of new nuclear capacity by 2025.
The group is expected to choose its preferred nuclear reactor design this quarter, picking either Areva and EDF’s European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) or Westinghouse’s AP1000 model.
Reporting by Karolin Schaps; editing by James Jukwey