The UK’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has given its consent for a project to decommission the two-unit Wylfa nuclear power station on the island of Anglesey in north Wales.
The ONR said the decision follows “extensive consultation” and takes into account factors such as the information provided by licensee, Magnox Limited, the conclusion that environmental benefits will outweigh any detriments and the prediction there will be “no significant effects on other countries”.
Magnox Ltd originally obtained consent to decommission Wylfa’s two 490-megawatt gas-cooled reactors in March 2009, expecting that commercial operation of both units would be halted within five years.
However, due to extended electricity generation, Wylfa is not expected to shut down completely and begin decommissioning until around the end of 2014 or possibly later depending on operational plans, the ONR said. By this time the current consent will have expired and so Wylfa sought new consent.
One of the main conditions attached to the consent is that Magnox Ltd must prepare an annual environmental management plan that identifies mitigation measures and reports on their implementation and effectiveness,
A copy of the plan must be sent to the ONR and made available to the public
Unit 2 at Wylfa was shut down in April 2012 because of limited fuel stocks, following the final shipment of Magnox fuel – which is no longer manufactured – to the site in 2011.
Unit 1, the UK’s last remaining commercially operational Magnox reactor unit, was given permission to continue to generate electricity until September 2014, almost four years beyond its original closure date.