Berkeley nuclear power station is a decommissioned Magnox nuclear power station situated on the eastern bank of the River Severn in Gloucestershire and was also home to the Berkeley research laboratories. The ongoing decommissioning process is being managed by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority subsidiary, Magnox Ltd.
The nuclear power station came into service in 1962 and after 27 years of successful operation, generating enough electricity on a typical day to serve an urban area the size of Bristol, the twin reactor station closed in 1989 and was fuel free by 1992. The turbine hall was demolished in 1995 and cooling ponds were demolished in 2001. Its two reactors were put into “safestore” in 2010. In 2012, five of the 310-tonne boilers were moved from the station to Sweden for decontamination and recycling.
The site is now focussed on the safe retrieval and packaging of waste held within its subterranean vaults as well as historical waste from the Berkeley research laboratories. The intermediate level waste will be packaged and stored on the site in its interim storage facility until a UK geological disposal facility becomes available.
The site will then enter a care and maintenance stage until further radioactive decay occurs, and the reactors can be demolished before final site clearance.
The area around the site is environmentally sensitive and is designated a Special Protection Area (SPA), Special Area for Conservation (SAC), a wetland of international importance under the RAMSAR convention and a Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI).