Hundreds of additional workers join the team at EDF Energy’s Hunterston B power station to carry out a major maintenance programme worth around £20m.

One of the two reactors at the power station was taken off line on Friday September 8 for an eight week period.

The start of this maintenance period also marks a record run for the station. The reactor has been safely generating low-carbon electricity continuously since it was brought back into service at the end of its last outage period. When the reactor was taken offline it had been running for 495 days; that is the longest run in the station’s 41 year history.

More than 450 extra workers will join the 750 strong workforce for the maintenance period, which is known as a “statutory outage”.

EDF Energy carries out a statutory outage on each of its reactors every three years. These are planned in advance with the National Grid to ensure that there is no impact on the national electricity supply. The other reactor at Hunterston B is due to continue operating normally throughout the period.

During the outage workers will carry out more than 10,000 separate pieces of work, each carefully planned during the last two years of preparation, including inspections of a range of systems including the boilers, electrical systems and the graphite core. The biggest projects will include replacing three low pressure turbine rotors and the main generator electrical rotor.

Station Director, Colin Weir, said: “This period of maintenance marks the best run of electricity generation in Hunterston B power station’s 41 year history. This achievement is testament to both the planning and commitment of the station’s dedicated workforce and the investment by EDF Energy. The outage will see around £20m of investment in the power station and will give us the chance to do inspections and carry out pieces of work we are not able to perform when the reactor is operating.

Hunterston B power station’s two nuclear reactors generate enough electricity to power almost two million homes and started operating in 1976. The station employs more than 500 full time staff and around 250 full time contract partners to ensure the safe reliable generation of electricity.

Hunterston B has produced enough low carbon electricity to save the equivalent of 96.5 million tonnes of CO2 during its 41 years of operation, the same as taking all of the passenger cars off the UK's roads for 1.4 years.