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Nuclear Power

Volume 472: debated on Monday 25 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what proportion of generating capacity was out of service in UK nuclear power stations in each of the last 10 years. (188602)

Planned or unplanned closures of this nature are commercial and/or technical decisions for the companies that own and operate the power stations to take in conjunction with the relevant health and safety authorities. My Department therefore does not keep records of the operating decisions of individual power stations.

However, information on plant load factors is available. The load factor is actual generation for a given year taken as a percentage of theoretical maximum potential generation. It is impossible for any power station to generate at full capacity throughout the year. There will be periods when it will not generate owing to lack of demand, routine maintenance and unplanned repairs. The load factors for UK nuclear power stations for the most recent 10 years for which data are available are as follows:

Percentage

1997

79.1

1998

80.1

1999

77.5

2000

70.5

2001

76.1

2002

75.1

2003

77.8

2004

71.8

2005

72.4

2006

69.3

Source: Digest of UK Energy Statistics, BERR