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Dungeness B Nuclear Power Station
Dungeness, Romney Marsh, Kent, UK
associated engineer
Not known
date  August 1965 - December 1982, 1965 - 1985
era  Modern  |  category  Power Generation  |  reference  TR080168
Dungeness B Nuclear Power Station, located on the Kent coast some 6km south east of Lydd, is owned and operated by British Energy. It has two advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGRs) supplying 1090MW and generating around 30% of the South East’s electricity, with power to more than 1.5 million homes. The coastal location ensures a continual supply of cooling water, derived from seawater.
Dungeness B is situated just west of Dungeness A power station, which has twin Magnox reactors that ceased operating on 31st December 2006 after 40 years of power generation. Dungeness A is now being decommissioned.
AGRs are unique to Britain, and Dungeness B has Britain’s first. Reactor 1 was built between August 1965 and December 1982, with power first being generated on 3rd April 1983. Reactor 2 was built between 1965 and 1985. By then, the project cost was over five times the original estimate and the intended power output was reduced by more than 20%. The original contractors, Atomic Power Constructions, went bust in 1970.
The AGRs are contained within thick-walled pre-stressed concrete pressure vessels lined with gas-tight steel plate. Inside the reactor, controlled nuclear fission is used to produce heat energy in the core. Both reactors get their fuel from Westinghouse's Springfields plant.
The reactor fuel is enriched uranium oxide pellets in stainless steel tubes. The reaction is controlled by using graphite as a moderator and pressurised carbon dioxide as the coolant, with nitrogen as a secondary retarder. The carbon dioxide reaches 650°C as it circulates around the core, which then heats water in a steam circuit that in turn drives turbines to generate electricity.
The power station is the major employer in Romney Marsh, with a workforce of more than 550 permanent staff and 200 contract workers. It brings some £30 million per year into the local economy.
In September 2005, Dungeness B’s estimated decommissioning date was extended from 2008 to 2018.
Main contractor: Atomic Power Constructions
Research: ECPK

Dungeness B Nuclear Power Station