Sizewell B is a nuclear power station found on the Suffolk Coast in East Anglia, operated by EDF Energy. The site was under construction for 7 years (1988 – 1995) and began supplying electricity to the National Grid from 1995 onwards.
The station is the only Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) operating in the UK. In the PWR system, seawater is used as the primary coolant and is pumped under high pressure to the reactor core where it is heated by the energy generated by the fission of atoms. This heated water then flows to the steam generators where thermal energy is transferred to a secondary system. This system generates the steam which flows to turbines that spin an electric generator. Thus Sizewell B is able to transfer 1198 MW of electricity to the national grid each year. Sizewell’s widely recognisable white hemisphere covers the outer shell of the twin-walled containment building which houses the single PWR and its steam generators.
The current decommissioning date set for Sizewell B is 2035. However, EDF has previously expressed interests to extend the life of the station by 20 years, to 2055.
Initial plans for Sizewell C, a new nuclear power station which would include two UK-European pressurised water reactors (EPRs) to be built in Suffolk were published in November 2012, which could produce electricity for the following 60 years. EDF also plan to build a twinned plant, Hinkley Point C. The stations are estimated to produce 1,600 MW of electricity which by the early 2020’s would contribute 13% of the UK’s electricity.
Click here to find out more about Sizewell B.
Click here to find out more about the plans for Sizewell C.