Hunterston 'B' Nuclear Power Station

Hunterston 'B' Power Station
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Hunterston 'B' Power Station

Located 2 miles (3 km) northwest of West Kilbride on the North Ayrshire coast facing the island of Little Cumbrae, Hunterston 'B' has a nominal capacity of 1288 megawatts from two Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactors (AGRs). The station makes a net contribution to the national grid of 960 megawatts of electrical power. The AGR is a sophisticated and efficient British design, a development of the original Magnox gas-cooled reactors, as operated at the adjacent Hunterston 'A' and at Chapelcross. AGRs are unique to seven nuclear stations in the United Kingdom. Hunterston 'B' was part of the second phase of AGR construction, along with Hinkley Point in England, which overcame the design and construction difficulties which had delayed the initial station at Dungeness (England). Construction of Hunterston 'B' began in 1967 and it was commissioned in 1976. The station was due to close in 2011, but its life was extended to 2023, despite cracks identified in the reactor in 2014. Today the plant employs more than 700 people.

The power station was operated by British Energy Plc, which became part of the state-owned French multi-national EDF in 2009. This company generates approximately 55% of Scotland's electricity from the Torness nuclear power station (southeast of Dunbar in East Lothian) and Hunterston 'B' itself.

Hunterston 'B' includes a visitor centre, which offers tours of the station together with displays on nuclear power and the company.

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