Sizewell A: Up to 120 jobs could go once decommissioning is complete

Sizewell A and B

Sizewell A and B - Credit: Mike Page

Up to 120 jobs at the redundant Sizewell A nuclear power station could be lost after the completion of work to remove highly radioactive spent fuel elements from its two reactors, it has been revealed.

The power station ceased operation in 2006 and is currently being decommissioned, with a staff of 315 together with more than 100 contractors.

More than 50,000 fuel elements are being removed and transported to the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing works in Cumbria and more than half have already been dispatched.

Decommissioning work will continue in phases for at least another 80 years but workforce numbers will decline significantly over the period.

Tim Watkins, site director for Magnox Limited, the site operator, told the latest meeting of the Sizewell Stakeholder Group (SSG) that up to 120 jobs could be lost following the defuelling of the reactors, expected to be completed by September 2014.

The company was already working closely with the trades unions and would continue to do so throughout the transition period.

“The site is working very hard to manage this situation, including consideration of potential redeployment opportunities within Magnox, transfer to EDF Energy sites and re-training into other position,” he said in a report to the SSG.

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Later this month, Sizewell A management would be meeting the directors of the Magnox decommissioning programme.

They will discuss resource requirements for the next stages in decommissioning work on the Suffolk site.

When defuelling is complete, the focus will move to further hazard reduction, waste retrieval and processing, and demolition of conventional buildings.

The remaining buildings will then be secured and enter a passive state referred to as “care and maintenance”, before final dismantling and site clearance in 80 years.

The NDA expects the cost of returning Sizewell A to a greenfield site to be around £789m.

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