N-plant due to go back on-line

By David GreenENGINEERS are preparing to restart one of the twin reactors at the Sizewell A nuclear power station after a costly six-month shutdown.The reactor looks certain to be back generating electricity by the end of the month after being shutdown as the result of a mechanical breakdown.

By David Green

ENGINEERS are preparing to restart one of the twin reactors at the Sizewell A nuclear power station after a costly six-month shutdown.

The reactor looks certain to be back generating electricity by the end of the month after being shutdown as the result of a mechanical breakdown.

Lost income from electricity sales caused by the shutdown amounts to many hundreds of thousands of pounds.


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The breakdown was in a large transformer that has been replaced at a cost of about £1million - criticised by anti-nuclear campaigners as a waste of taxpayers' money.

Anti-nuclear group the Shut Down Sizewell Campaign said the expense was unjustified because the power station was due to close in 2006 after a 40-year operational lifetime.

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The new transformer, manufactured in Poland, was delivered some weeks ago and engineers have since been working on its installation.

Robin Thornton, Sizewell A spokesman, said the prolonged shutdown of the reactor had been a financial blow to the company, but could not have been avoided.

“The installation project is on time and within budget. It has been a great success,” he added. “Refurbishing the existing transformer would have been a long job and it was decided to order a new one.

“It was an easy decision because the cashflow from the reactor when it is operational far outweighs the cost of the transformer.”

david.green@eadt.co.uk

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