Nuclear site marks a new milestone

Westinghouse Electric Company's UK's nuclear site in Lancashire has reached a momentous manufacturing milestone with the production of its seven millionth Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor (AGR) oxide fuel pin.

Tuesday, 1st November 2016, 10:26 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 5:02 pm
Glyn Russell, Prospect Secretary; Brian Nixon, Head of Oxide Operations; Seema Kennedy; Roger Float; Mark Menzies; Simon Marshall; Tracey Evans, Springfields Fuels Ltd Commercial Director; & Craig Boothby

Fylde MP Mark Menzies, South Ribble MP Seema Kennedy and Roger Float, nuclear fuel strategy manager at EDF Energy, visited the Springfields site.

Following a tour of the most modern, multi-million pound Oxide Fuels Complex to witness AGR fuel being manufactured, the seven millionth fuel pin was officially presented to EDF Energy.

“This tremendous achievement would not have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of all our employees over the years,” said Mick Gornall, managing director, Westinghouse UK.

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“It would also not have been possible without EDF Energy continuing to operate the AGR stations safely.

Managing director UK Fuel Operations, Simon Marshall, said that production of AGR fuel had laid the foundations for future fuel production.

“Springfields has provided all the fuel for the AGR stations and through continued investment in new technology we are ready to provide Light Water Reactor fuel for the next generation of reactor to be built by Westinghouse in the U.K., the AP1000, three of which are already planned for the Moorside site in Cumbria.

“Springfields would also manufacture the fuel for any Westinghouse Small Modular Reactors built in the U.K. and we are currently actively involved with a number of parties, including the UK Government, on the development and introduction of this exciting new reactor design.”

To produce the same amount of energy from the seven million pins produced at the Westinghouse site would take over 600 million tonnes of coal. The environmental benefits of seven million pins are enormous. Generating electricity by using this AGR fuel has saved over one and a half billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released if coal had been used.

MP Mr Menzies said: “This production milestone continues Springfields’ proud history in nuclear fuel manufacturing. They have the experience and technology to produce fuel for all major designs of nuclear reactor and I am confident they will continue to provide quality fuel for customers across the globe, as well as continuing to benefit the local economy.”

Roger Float said: “It’s an outstanding achievement to have produced seven million fuel pins.

“Safety and quality are an overriding priority both for EDF Energy and Westinghouse to ensure the continued operation of the AGR power station and Springfields should be congratulated for their excellent record.”

The fuel provided by Springfields in our AGR reactors provides around one sixth of the UK’s electricity and we look forward to working with Westinghouse for many years to come.”