No more power from Sizewell A

SUFFOLK'S Sizewell A power station has today stopped generating electricity for the country after 40 years.The two reactors were taken off line yesterday - heralding the start of defuelling and decommissioning of the plant.

SUFFOLK'S Sizewell A power station has today stopped generating electricity for the country after 40 years.

The two reactors were taken off line yesterday - heralding the start of defuelling and decommissioning of the plant. That is a process which could last for the next 103 years.

The first of the two reactors at the plant was shut down at 11am yesterday with the second following suit four hours later.

The switch-off was covered by CCTV cameras at the plant's control room and was watched by members of staff past and present who had gathered for a special ceremony at the Sizewell social club on the outskirts of Leiston.

About 40 people turned up to watch the end of power generation at Sizewell A which first generated electricity for the National Grid in 1966.

The switch-off does not mark the end of Sizewell A as a local landmark which can be seen from miles around.

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It will take about two years to remove all the 53,000 fuel rods that are currently in the reactors and send them by rail to the Sellafield plant for reprocessing.

The administration block at the plant is due to be demolished early this year, and other parts of Sizewell A, including the turbine hall, will be demolished once all the fuel has been removed.

More staff will be employed in the plant during the early phases of decommissioning than when it was operating - and the main decommissioning phase is due to continue until 2017.

Then the reactor building itself will be left on a care and maintenance basis until it is safe to finally demolish it - experts currently think that will not be until 2110.

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