EDF to extend life of 4 UK nuclear power stations
EDF Energy, the British arm of French giant EDF, will extend the life of four of its UK nuclear power stations by up to seven years, it said today.
The announcement, revealed alongside annual results from its parent firm, comes with EDF yet to make a final investment decision over the construction of a vast new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset in southwest England.
“EDF Energy has announced new scheduled closure dates for four nuclear power stations,” it said in a statement.
The four stations comprise Heysham 1 and Heysham 2 in Lancashire, northwest England, Hartlepool in Teeside in the northeast and Torness in East Lothian, Scotland.
Heysham 1 and Hartlepool were due to be decommissioned in 2019 but will continue to operate for another five years until 2024.
Power generation at Heysham 2 and Torness will be extended by seven years to 2030.
EDF added it had made the decision to extend operations following “extensive technical and safety reviews of the plants” that it has shared with the industry regulator the Office for Nuclear Regulation.
Together, the four power plants supply electricity to about one quarter of homes in Britain, according to EDF, employing a total of 2,000 permanent staff and 1,000 contractors.
“Our continuing investment, our expertise and the professional relationship we have with the safety regulator means we can safely prolong the operating life of our nuclear power stations,” EDF Energy’s chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said.
“Their excellent output shows that reliability is improving whilst their safety and environmental performance is higher than ever,” he added.
EDF added that it hoped to begin building Hinkley Point C – Britain’s first new nuclear power plant in decades – “very soon”.