One of Somerset’s biggest employers celebrates 40 years of energy production – just as a major maintenance programme gets into full swing.
Hinkley Point B near Bridgwater was the first Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor in the country to begin commercially generating electricity to the National Grid on February 5 1976.
During its 40 years of operation, Hinkley Point B has generated enough electricity to power around 60 million homes. Its two reactors still produce enough electricity for approximately one and a half million properties each year.
By generating electricity from nuclear power instead of fossil fuels, owners EDF say Hinkley Point B has avoided the production of around 187 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and equivalent greenhouse gases.
To mark its milestone birthday every employee will be presented with a photobook charting the station’s history and focusing on the people who have helped to make the station so special. A reception for past Hinkley Point B station directors and staff who were employed by the industry in 1976 will be held at the station today and a commemorative cake has been made for the occasion.
Station director Peter Evans said: “I am extremely proud of everyone who contributes to Team Hinkley and ensures the continued safe operation of our power station.
A thousand extra workers are joining the workforce over the coming weeks as part of a maintenance programme known as an outage which takes place every three years.
The programme of works has been carefully planned over the last two years and brings a welcome economic boost to the local economy.