BOSSES at Oldbury Power Station are waiting to hear how long they can keep generating electricity at the plant.

Those in charge at the 40-year-old nuclear power station want to keep both reactors powering the nation until June 2011.

At the moment only reactor one has permission to do so. Under current safety guidelines for the plant reactor two has to switch off in March next year.

Oldbury Power Station was due to stop generating electricity at the end of last year, however, after a thorough safety review this deadline was extended but nuclear chiefs at the site now want a further extension for reactor two.

Amanda French, the National Decommissioning Authority’s (NDA) site programme manager for Oldbury, said: "We have put together a business case to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) for an extension of reactor two and subject to agreement it could keep generating until June 2011.

"This is making sure we maximise the commercial assets of the NDA and use all the fuel that is available.

"Continuing generation at Oldbury will provide a greater income to help pay for the cost of decommissioning and decreases the input from the treasury."

In its annual report, released at the end of the summer, the NDA said its higher than expected commercial income of £2 billion for the financial year 2008 to 2009 was down to continuing operations at Oldbury.

Keeping Oldbury going will also safeguard the jobs of the 470 workers, currently employed at the site, for longer.

Joe Lamonby, site director for Oldbury, said: "We want to optimise generation from the plant and we look to operate both reactors into the middle of 2011, which would bring financial and employment benefits.

"We’ve got the backing of the NDA and it is now with the DECC."