Another UK power station goes offline as Didcot B burns

Posted: October 19, 2014 by tallbloke in Energy, flames, Uncertainty

After the Ferrybridge fire and Hunstanton nuclear power station, more bad news for the hard pressed National Grid.

didcotgeorginemilesZainab Mirmalek, who lives opposite the power station, said: “There’s lots of water gushing down on it, lots of smoke and steam but the fire is definitely under control now.”

Fellow Didcot resident Leila Qureshi said: “We got quite near before the road was shut.

“The fire was ferocious. You could feel the heat and smell it.”

Emergency service personnel from Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service, Thames Valley Police and the National Police Air Service (NPAS) have all been called in to help with the blaze.

The power station has been in operation since 1997 and can supply power to up to one million homes, according to RWE npower.

Read the rest here

 

Comments
  1. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on the WeatherAction News Blog and commented:
    Wafer thin margins?

  2. tallbloke says:

  3. tchannon says:

    Ah good Rog you got the story. Didcot is my local power station. This is a critical station. It also includes 550MW for JET at Culham.

    Recently the older cooling towers from the coal fired station (Didcot is a railway town) were blown up demolished. Logically this ought to have been replaced by a nuclear reactor, the area is in nuclear valley and few miles from Harwell and Rutherford (home base of NRPB) and so on.

    So what has caught fire? How can this happen?

    If it is the steam plant cooling they should be able to operate the gas turbines without.

  4. So many off line

    There is media coverage today of cracks found in two of the 6,000 graphite bricks in one of two Hunterston B reactors.

    Colin Weir, Station Director at Hunterston B said:

    “Every time we take the reactor out of service for planned maintenance we inspect the graphite core which is made up of around 6,000 bricks. During the current Hunterston outage we found two bricks with a new crack which is what we predicted during Hunterston B’s lifetime as a result of extensive research and modelling. It will not affect the operation of this reactor and we also expect that a few additional cracks will occur during the next period of operation. The small number of cracked bricks found during routine inspection is in line with our expectations, the findings have no safety implications and are well within any limits for safe operation agreed with our regulator.”

    For a description of the different types of axial cracking please click on the diagram to the right.

    Dungerness -dead
    sizewell – half dead
    hunsterton – half dead
    heysham 1 – dead
    hartleypool – dead

    so reliable this nuclear stuff!!

    Sizewell B
    Last updated: 17 Oct 2014 13.56hrs
    Generation (MW) data as at: 17 Oct 2014 11.30hrs
    .Reactor 1 Turbine Generator 1
    Offline
    -7 MW
    Shutdown category Planned
    Expected return to service w/c 08-Dec-14
    .Status Statutory/refuelling outage
    Next statutory outage On outage
    Turbine Generator 2
    In service 601 MW
    Status Nominal full load
    Next statutory outage Oct-2014

    Hunterston B Reactor 1 Turbine Generator 1
    Offline -7MW
    Shutdown category Planned
    Expected return to service w/c 08-Dec-14
    Status Statutory/refuelling outage
    Next statutory outage On outage
    Turbine Generator 2
    In service 601 MW
    Status Nominal full load
    Next statutory outage Oct-2014

    Hunterston B
    Generation (MW) data as at 17 Oct 2014 11.30hrs
    Reactor 3 Turbine Generator 7
    In service 289MW
    Status Low-load refuelling
    Next statutory outage Oct-2015
    Reactor 4 Turbine Generator 8
    Offline -24MW
    Shutdown category Planned
    Expected return to service w/c 03-Nov-14
    Status Unit shut down to address turbine bearing high vibration
    Next statutory outage On outage

    Heysham 1
    Reactor 1 Turbine Generator 1
    Offline -10MW
    Shutdown category Planned
    Expected return to service31-Dec-14
    Status Shut down for boiler inspections
    Next statutory outage Jun-2016
    Reactor 2 Turbine Generator 2
    Offline 0MW
    Shutdown category Non planned
    Expected return to service 09-Nov-14
    Status Shut down for boiler inspections
    Next statutory outage Apr-2015

    Hartlepool
    Reactor 1 Turbine Generator 1
    Offline -3MW
    Shutdown category Planned
    Expected return to service 22-Nov-14
    Status Statutory outage/boiler inspections
    Next statutory outage On outage
    Reactor 2 Turbine Generator 2
    Offline -5MW
    Shutdown category Non planned
    Expected return to service 09-Nov-14
    Status Shut down for boiler inspections
    Next statutory outage Jan-2016

    Dungeness B
    Reactor 21 Turbine Generator 21
    Offline -18MW
    Shutdown category Planned
    Expected return to service 20-Oct-14
    Status Off-load refuelling
    Next statutory outage Mar-2017
    Reactor 22 Turbine Generator 22
    Offline -18MW
    Shutdown category Non planned
    Expected return to service 21-Oct-14
    Status Unit shut down following a boiler feed pump fault
    Next statutory outage May-2015

  5. P. G. Berkin says:

    Once is happenstance. Twice is co-incidence…?

  6. sergeiMK says:

    I’m surprised you have not also noted:

    8 nuclear generators off line no power
    1 on half power

    http://www.edfenergy.com/energy/power-station/daily-statuses

  7. oldbrew says:

    sergei: see here

    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/are-some-of-britains-nuclear-reactors-on-their-last-legs/

    Sizewell is having planned maintenance work done, according to the website you linked to.
    So it’s not ‘half-dead’ as someone claimed above.

  8. tom0mason says:

    Surely this means Mr. Gummer will have to authorize more windmills to be built.

    ;(

  9. Jaime says:

    The Inuit have a term ‘three dog night’, referring to how many Huskies are required to combat the extreme cold. As a rough approximation, I reckon ‘three Huskies’ is approximately equivalent to two 15 tog duvets! So my recommendation for this and future UK winters is to adopt a large dog (or two or three), stock up on candles and invest in at least one wood-burning stove. Perhaps one day we might have people in charge of energy policy who have not escaped from the lunatic asylum, but I doubt it will be anytime soon.

  10. oldbrew says:

    ‘Ed Miliband and Baroness Worthington, the most expensive man and woman in Britain’s history.
    The Climate Change Act could cost the UK £1.3 trillion over the next 36 years’

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/11171445/Ed-Miliband-and-Baroness-Worthington-the-most-expensive-man-and-woman-in-Britains-history.html

  11. tallbloke says:

    National Grid is now just “one unexpected event” away from being forced to restrict energy use after a fire at Didcot power station near Oxford put a unit supplying half a million households out of action, according to Peter Atherton, an analyst at Liberum Capital.

    The threat of electricity shortages in the coming months was already heightened after a spate of accidents at UK power stations in recent weeks. Together, they have left five plants out of action, accounting for about 5 per cent of total generation capacity.

    As a result, the amount of spare generating capacity the country has during peak demand has dwindled to just a few per cent.

    “We’ve lost two-thirds of the fat going into winter. We still have enough capacity to meet demand – provided that nothing else goes down and that we don’t have a cold winter. So much depends on the weather,” said Mr Atherton.

    “Normally I would put the odds of a security of supply incident at about one in 20. A week ago I would have said one in four and now, following the Didcot fire, I’d say one in three,” he added.

    Angelos Anastasiou, an analyst at the City firm Whitman Howard, agreed the UK power system was looking stretched.

    “Are we creaking? Yes is the answer. Last year may have lulled people into a false sense of security because it was very mild – about 2C above the norm, which makes a big difference to electricity use. And if we get colder than average weather this year that could be quite significant,” Mr Anastasiou said.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/didcot-power-station-fire-electricity-supplies-now-at-a-one-in-three-chance-of-falling-short-9807285.html

  12. tallbloke says:

    Ford: so reliable this nuclear stuff!!

    Most of the nuclear fleet is at or near the end of its planned life. Engineers know their stuff. Then Govt idiots come along and say, “Well, never mind, we can extend it another 7 years” – as if they know their arses from their elbows.

  13. tallbloke says:

    Coming mercifully on a warm weekend, when electricity demand was low, the devastating fire at Didcot B is a reminder of the fragility of Britain’s power supplies, after successive governments neglected our needs in pursuit of green policies.
    Let there be no doubt about who bears much of the blame for our vulnerability.
    As Energy Secretary in 2008, it was Ed Miliband who drew up the Climate Change Act, committing Britain to unachievable and ruinously expensive targets for cutting carbon emissions.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2801006/daily-mail-comment-raise-stakes-against-europe-s-elite.html

  14. thefordprefect says:

    tallbloke says:
    October 21, 2014 at 7:06 am
    Ford: so reliable this nuclear stuff!!

    Most of the nuclear fleet is at or near the end of its planned life. Engineers know their stuff. Then Govt idiots come along and say, “Well, never mind, we can extend it another 7 years”

    —————

    Are you sure the reason is not to have to pay the billions of decommissioning costs?

    there are according to you 3 large units (the ones with cracks) that require deconstruction, cooling and storage. What is the going rate for decommissioning.

  15. tallbloke says:

    Ford: I’ve seen the DECC budgets, they have been setting aside vast sums for decommissioning for years. If that was the reason, they’d have been building replacements on the same sites to avoid a whole site cleanup. No it’s just inertia, stupidity and a gross dereliction of duty.