Magnox-owned Oldbury nuclear station in the UK will shut down today after 45 years of service.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Magnox agreed that continuing operations on the site would no longer be economically viable.

Reactor 2 was shut down last year and Reactor 1 is scheduled to be switched off at 11am (GMT), today, reports BBC news.

Located on the banks of the River Severn in Gloucestershire, the facility was due to close 2008 and again in June 2011, but managers of the site said that there would be enough fuel to operate one of the plant’s two reactors beyond that date.

Although welcomed by campaigners, the decommissioning of Oldbury will not put an end to nuclear power generation at the site. In June last year, it was one of eight sites deemed suitable for new nuclear power stations by 2025.

Horizon Nuclear Power is currently moving forward with its plans to a station next to Oldbury and at the Shepperdine site in South Gloucestershire.

Oldbury’s decommissioning process will begin over the next three years, with remaining fuel removed and reprocessed. Hazardous materials will then be removed from the site before the station’s buildings are demolished. However, the main reactor will not be pulled down until radiation levels in the building become safe, which is not expected to be until around the year 2100.


Caption: Oldbury nuclear power station has been operating for 45 years on the banks of the River Severn.