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Extra workers to benefit Kent economy as Dungeness B power station maintenance gets underway

Boost for local businesses from £40m maintenance programme 

Businesses in Kent will experience a boost this summer as hundreds of additional workers join the team at EDF Energy’s Dungeness B power station to carry out a major maintenance programme worth around £40m.

One of the two reactors at the power station, Reactor 21, is being taken off line on Friday 16 June for a 12-week period. The other reactor at Dungeness B, Reactor 22, will also be briefly taken offline for just under four weeks from Friday 7 July to allow for maintenance on systems that are common to the two reactors.

More than 1200 extra specialist workers will join the 750 strong workforce for the maintenance period, which is known as a “statutory outage.”

EDF Energy carries out a statutory outage on each of its reactors every three years. These are planned in advance with the National Grid to ensure that there is no impact on the national electricity supply.  

During the outage workers will carry out more than 12,000 separate pieces of work – each carefully planned during the last two years of preparation. The biggest projects include replacing three low pressure turbine rotors and inspecting the boiler header.

Station Director, Ian Stewart, said: “2016 was a record breaking year for the station as we generated 7.7GW, which is more than we ever have before over a 12-month period. Part of why we achieved this is thanks to continued investment and regular maintenance programmes like this outage.

“The outage will give us the chance to do inspections and carry out pieces of work that are not possible when the reactor is operating, enabling us to ensure that Dungeness B is able to safely produce low-carbon electricity until 2028.

“It is also a big boost for the local economy. We are bringing in over 1000 additional workers who will be staying in local hotels and B&B’s, eating in the area’s restaurants and using local taxi firms. It is great to see that our investment in the power station will also benefit the local community.”

Dungeness B power station’s two nuclear reactors generate enough electricity to power almost two million homes and started operating in 1983. The station employs more than 500 full time staff and around 250 full time contract partners to ensure the safe, reliable generation of electricity. 

In 2016, Dungeness B produced enough low-carbon electricity to avoid the equivalent of 2.69 million tonnes of CO2 being produced, when compared to direct emissions from CCGT plants.* This is the equivalent of taking 1.18 million (or 4%) of UK passenger cars off the roads.
 

For more information contact:

Laurence Ollier
External Communications Manager - Generation (South East)
0781 3232 765
Laurence.Ollier@edfenergy.com

Notes to editors

Reactor 21 outage in numbers 

Lasts 12 weeks from 16 June until 8 September
Will include over 12,000 separate pieces of work
Part of a £40 million investment
Requires 1200 extra staff
Takes place every 3 years on each reactor

Dungeness B in numbers

Started operating in 1983
First AGR** reactors in the UK
Two reactors with a capacity of 1050 MW
Produced 7.7 GW in 2016 
This was enough energy for 7% (or over 1.9 million) of UK homes
Has around 550 full-time staff and over 200 permanent contractors
Takes on around six new apprentices a year

*EDF Energy is using a new methodology to compare emissions. Instead of comparing the emissions avoided to the prevailing UK fossil fuel mix EDF Energy now uses the direct emissions of a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) plant as comparison.

**AGR – “Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactors” are the second generation of British gas-cooled reactors. They use graphite as a moderator and are cooled primarily with carbon dioxide. Nuclear generation does not however emit any CO2.

 

EDF Energy

EDF Energy is the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity, meeting around one-fifth of the country’s demand and supplying millions of customers and businesses with electricity and gas.

It generates electricity with eight nuclear power stations, more than 30 wind farms, one gas and two coal power stations, as well as with combined heat and power plants.

EDF Energy is leading the UK's nuclear renaissance with the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C. This will provide low carbon electricity to meet 7% of UK demand. The project is already making a positive impact on the local and national economy, British industry, as well as boosting skills and education. EDF Energy also invests in a range of low carbon technologies including renewables and battery storage. It is applying research and development expertise to improve the performance of existing generation and developing the potential of new technologies.

The company provides gas and electricity for more than 5 million customer accounts and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain and the largest supplier to British businesses. It offers innovative energy systems for commercial customers and digital innovation for customers at home. EDF Energy has also launched its own innovation accelerator, Blue Lab, which focuses on making customers’ lives easier.

The Better Plan is EDF Energy's framework for being a sustainable and responsible energy business and is an integral part of EDF's 2030 vision to be the efficient, responsible electricity company, and champion of low-carbon growth. The Better Plan is underpinned by comprehensive environmental and social programmes which have been recognised by a wide range of organisations.

EDF Energy is part of EDF Group, the world’s biggest electricity generator. In the UK, the company employs around 13,000 people at locations across England and Scotland.

To find out more about the UK's energy challenges visit: www.edfenergy.com/energyfuture/