Bradwell nuclear power station
|Bradwell nuclear power station|
Bradwell Power Station
Location of Bradwell nuclear power station in Essex
|Owner(s)||Nuclear Decommissioning Authority|
|Nuclear power station|
|Reactor supplier||The Nuclear Power Group (TNPG)|
|Units decommissioned||2 reactors
Construction of the power station, which was undertaken by a consortium involving Clarke Chapman, Head Wrightson, C. A. Parsons & Co., A. Reyrolle & Co., Strachan & Henshaw and Whessoe and known as the Nuclear Power Plant Company ('NPPC'), began in December 1957 and electricity generation started in 1962. It had two Magnox reactors with a design output of 300 (MW) of net electrical output although this was reduced to 242 megawatts (MW) net electrical in total. as a result of the discovery of breakaway oxidation of mild steel components inside the reactor vessel. Its peak output, achieved in the early 1960s, was nearly 10% above the design value. On a typical day it could supply enough electricity to meet the needs of three towns the size of Chelmsford, Colchester and Southend put together. The reactors were supplied by The Nuclear Power Group ('TNPG') and the 9 turbines & 12 Gas Circulators by C. A. Parsons & Co.(6off 52MW Main Turbines supplying power to the grid, 3off 22.5MW Auxiliaries Turbines, one for each reactor for driving the gas circulators with one standby auxiliary turbine).
Bradwell was built on the edge of a former World War II airfield, one and a half miles from the Essex coastline. Its location was deliberately chosen as the land had minimal agricultural value, offered easy access, was geologically sound and had an unlimited source of cooling water from the North Sea.
In 1969, a new Honeywell 316 was installed as the primary reactor temperature monitoring computer; this was in continuous use until summer 2000, when the internal 160k disk failed. Two PDP-11/70s, which had previously been secondary monitors, were moved to primary.
In 1999, it was announced that the station would cease operation in 2002 – the first UK station to be closed on a planned basis. On 28 March 2002 Lord Braybrooke, Lord Lieutenant of Essex, unveiled a plaque to mark the cessation of electricity generation and the beginning of the decommissioning stage.
On 18 October 2010, the British government announced that Bradwell was one of the eight sites it considered suitable for future nuclear power stations.
In 2014 the Sunday Times reported that the China General Nuclear Power Group and China National Nuclear Corporation were preparing preliminary designs for a 3 GW nuclear power station at Bradwell to submit to the Office for Nuclear Regulation.
In 1966, twenty natural uranium fuel rods were stolen from Bradwell. The rods were stolen for their scrap value by Harold Arthur Sneath, a worker at the plant. The theft was discovered by the local police when a van driven by Dennis Patrick Hadley, who was transporting the rods to their final destination, was stopped due to its defective steering. The rods were recovered and, in the subsequent court case, Sneath and Hadley were bound over for five years, fined £100 each, and were required to contribute to the costs of the court case. Neither were said to have understood the consequences of the theft.
On 22 January 2011, a fire broke out during the decommissioning work as titanium condenser tubes were being cut up. No radiation was released from this fire.
- The UK Magnox and AGR Power Station Projects
- "Bradwell - Facts and figures". Magnox Ltd. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
- Nuclear Power Plants in the UK - England
- "Nuclear Power Plant Closes". BBC Online. 28 March 2002.
- "British Energy eyes nuclear sites". BBC Online. 27 November 2007.
- "Nuclear power: Eight sites identified for future plants". BBC News (BBC). 18 October 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- "Chinese nuclear plans for Bradwell power station could be 'catastrophic'". Essex Chronicle. 29 August 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
- Amory B. Lovins & L. Hunter Lovins. Brittle Power (PDF). Brick House Publishing Company. p. 146. ISBN 0-931790-49-2.
- "Uranium theft not sinister". Burnham on Crouch and Dengie Hundred Advertiser (Essex record office). February 1967.
- "Bradwell nuclear power station hit by fire". BBC News. 21 January 2011.
- Map sources for Bradwell nuclear power station
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bradwell nuclear power station.|
- British Nuclear Group
- UK operator fined £400,000 for 14-year radioactive leak
- The story of Bradwell Power Station
- Bradwell-on-Sea Power Station, Nuclear Engineering International wall chart, April 1957