10 Nov 2008

Decision on Oldbury dinosaur expected

radiationOldbury nuclear power station has been limping along for too long - problem after problem from vibrating turbines, cracked graphite and even a fire - see some here - astonishingly they are wanting to extend the life of this dinosaur that has been condemned as dangerous by independent nuclear scientists.

Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) expects are currently investigating the situation as to whether to extend the life of the 41-year-old nuclear plant. The station, near Thornbury, had been due to stop generating in less than eight weeks' time and start the long process of decommissioning. But Magnox North, which operates the site on the River Severn, wants to continue supplying power until about 2010!

The team of inspectors are currently at the plant carrying out an examination of the site and are set to make their announcement once they have completed their tour. The Government apparently has also to agree to the move, which would extend power generation by between 18 and 24 months.

There is a stakeholders meeting this Wednesday re Oldbury and unfortunately I can't go but hopefully another Green will be there to ask some questions. Here is what I would like to know for starters:

1. How realistic is it to extend Oldbury's life considering the 35% weight loss in both reactors?

2. What is the update on graphite research on reactor 1, including any timescale for restarting it?

3. Are there any plans for local consultation regarding new build? See more here. Under BERR requirements potential operators must consult locally over the use of a particular site. As both E.ON and Westinghouse have shown an interest in Oldbury as a site they ought to begin consulting.

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