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Another nuclear reactor closes down for good

One of Wylfa’s twin reactors ceased generating electricity on Wednesday, five days earlier than planned after an issue was identified with the plant.

The decision to finally close one of the Anglesey site’s two reactors was taken by site operator Magnox because limited fuel stocks do not allow both reactors to continue to operate. Wylfa received its final Magnox fuel delivery back in December 2011. Wylfa is the only Magnox site still generating electricity ni the UK, following the closure of Oldbury Power Station on 29 February. It is also the largest and last reactor of its type to be built in the UK.

Efforts will now focus on optimising generation on Reactor 1, which is allowed to operate until 2014. Assessing Magnox’s request and safety case, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR)’s decision on permissioning the transfer of partially used fuel from Reactor 2 to Reactor 1 is expected in the summer.

The reactor’s turbines first synched with the grid in 1971 and have produced over 224TWh of electricity in its lifetime – the equivalent to two-thirds of the UK’s total electricity demand in a year.

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