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EDF looking at extending Sizewell B nuclear power plant’s operating life by 20 years

12 April 2022

EDF Energy has announced that the operating life of the Sizewell B nuclear power plant in Suffolk, UK could be extended by at least 20 years, from 2035 to 2055 or beyond. A final investment decision is anticipated by 2024, which would then be followed by the required capital investment in the plant, safety enhancements and obtaining the necessary approvals.

Image: EDF Energy
Image: EDF Energy

The announcement came after the UK released its Energy Security Strategy on April 7 which included boosts for low carbon energy sources such as wind, solar, nuclear, and hydrogen. EDF welcomed the strategy and the ambition for further investment in areas that the energy company is already developing.

The extension to Sizewell B’s life will help protect jobs and importantly the UK’s energy security as the site provides 3% of the nation’s electricity demand, EDF said in a statement. By 2028 Sizewell B will be the only operating nuclear power station from the existing fleet. 

Paul Morton, Chief Nuclear Officer said: “Sizewell B power station is an important national asset that helps deliver clean, independent energy supplies. EDF is actively exploring a 20-year life extension opportunity to take output to 2055. A final investment decision is anticipated by 2024.”

Robert Gunn, Sizewell B Station Director, said: “I am proud of our local team at the power station and the work they do to ensure Sizewell B continues to generate the low carbon electricity that we all depend upon.”

EDF said the review to extend the plant’s life is the start of a robust process which will involve key partners including Westinghouse, Jacobs, GE and Framatome. Sizewell B will engage with industry regulators the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency throughout the process. Equipment will be systematically checked and the station and partners will identify the areas where investment will be required to maintain safe and reliable generation, should the decision be taken to extend the station’s life to 2055.

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