Berkeley nuclear power station

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Berkeley nuclear power station
One of the two reactor blocks in 1981
Berkeley nuclear power station is located in Gloucestershire
Berkeley nuclear power station
Location of Berkeley nuclear power station in Gloucestershire
Country England
Location Gloucestershire, South West England
Coordinates 51°41′33″N 2°29′37″W / 51.6925°N 2.493611°W / 51.6925; -2.493611Coordinates: 51°41′33″N 2°29′37″W / 51.6925°N 2.493611°W / 51.6925; -2.493611
Status Closed
Commission date 1962
Decommission date 1989
Thermal power station
Primary fuel Nuclear
grid reference ST6588599471

Berkeley nuclear power station is a disused Magnox power station situated on the bank of the River Severn in Gloucestershire, England.


The construction of the power station, which was undertaken by a consortium of AEI and John Thompson[1] began in 1956.[2] It had two Magnox reactors producing 276 megawatts (MW) in total – enough electricity on a typical day to serve an urban area the size of Bristol. The reactors were supplied by The Nuclear Power Group (TNPG) and the turbines by AEI.[3] Electricity generation started in 1962 and ran for 27 years to 1989.

Reactor 2 was shut down in October 1988, followed by Reactor 1 in March 1989. Berkeley was the first commercial nuclear power station in the United Kingdom to be decommissioned following its closure in 1989. So far the nuclear decommissioning process has involved the removal of all fuel from the site in 1992, and the demolition of structures such as the turbine hall in 1995 and cooling ponds in 2001.[4] The next step of decommissioning will be the care and maintenance stage of the nuclear reactor structures, scheduled to commence in 2026, until radioactive decay means that they can be demolished and the site completely cleared between 2070 and 2080.[5]

In March 2012 five of the 310-tonne boilers were moved from the station to Sweden for decontamination and recycling.[6][7]

In December 2013 the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority selected Berkeley as the preferred interim store for Intermediate-level waste from the decommissioned Oldbury nuclear power station.[8][9] This became operational in 2014.[10]

Berkeley is one of four nuclear power stations located close to the mouth of the River Severn and the Bristol Channel, the others being Oldbury, Hinkley Point A and Hinkley Point B.

The site in 2014

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The UK Magnox and AGR Power Station Projects - Appendix A&B" (PDF). 
  2. ^ "Nuclear energy past, present and future". The Nuclear Industry Association. Archived from the original on June 29, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-21. 
  3. ^ "Nuclear Power Plants in the UK - England". Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  4. ^ "Decommissioning at Berkeley Power Station - UK". World Nuclear Association. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  5. ^ "The 2010 UK Radioactive Waste Inventory: Main Report" (PDF). Nuclear Decommissioning Agency/Department of Energy & Climate Change. Feb 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-25. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  6. ^ "title unknown". Bristol Evening Post. 2012-02-29. 
  7. ^ "Berkeley nuclear power station boilers Sweden trip". BBC News Gloucestershire. 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  8. ^ "Berkeley named as preferred nuclear waste site". BBC. 3 December 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  9. ^ Mark Janicki (26 November 2013). "Iron boxes for ILW transport and storage". Nuclear Engineering International. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  10. ^ "New UK waste facilities completed". World Nuclear News. 16 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 

External links[edit]