This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

EDF could extend lifetime of two UK nuclear power plants

13 October 2022

On September 28, EDF said it is considering extending the life of two UK nuclear power plants due to the ongoing energy crisis. The energy company said the case to extend generation at Hartlepool and Heysham 1 power stations beyond their current end date of March 2024 would be reviewed in the coming months.

Image: EDF
Image: EDF

In a statement, EDF said it was providing an update on its UK nuclear generation business to help develop understanding of its role in short term energy security, as well as helping the UK deliver longer-term policy objectives. EDF owns and operates eight nuclear power stations across the UK, five that are generating and three in the defueling phase. It is building Hinkley Point C in Somerset and there are plans to develop a sister station at Sizewell C, with a final investment decision due in 2023.

As well as considering the extension of generation of Hartlepool and Heysham 1 power stations, EDF said:

- Over the 2023-2025 period, it plans to invest £1billion in its UK fleet to sustain output and help maintain security of supply.
- Output from the nuclear fleet in 2022 is forecast to be 42TWh (13% of UK demand).
- During the next 18 months, total available generating capacity is 5.5GW, providing an important source of home-grown, low-carbon power that helps limit gas imports.
- In its thermal business, EDF has answered a Government request to keep part of West Burton A coal-fired power station open for a further six months (to 31 March 2023), with 400MW available if needed by National Grid.

Matt Sykes, Managing Director of EDF’s Generation business, said: “The 5,000 people managing the UK’s existing nuclear fleet continue to make a vital contribution to powering households and businesses with clean and affordable electricity during this very challenging time. Our priority in the next few years is to deliver as much output as we safely can from the existing fleet, to support security of supply and help preserve the UK’s nuclear skills.”

Over the longer term, EDF said it is committed to playing its part in the Government’s commitment to expand UK nuclear capacity up to 24GW by 2050. With major interests in four of the eight designated sites for development (Hinkley Point, Sizewell, Hartlepool and Heysham), the company is working with ‘Great British Nuclear’ to help Government develop ideas on how to bring the policy goals to life.

This year EDF will invest around £40million in training its nuclear workforce and continues to build a centralised technical skills capability. Next year EDF will hire up to 200 people to join its existing fleet and move its operational and technical headquarters to smaller, more modern offices in Gloucester and Glasgow.

In terms of investment, EDF and partners are investing £26billion to construct Hinkley Point C, a 3.2GW power station that will supply 7% of the UK’s electricity. Advanced plans are in place for a replica at Sizewell C in Suffolk, and EDF is pursuing a 20-year extension of Sizewell B out to 2055. The company is also working with technology providers on plans for Advanced Modular Reactors (AMRs) at its Hartlepool site, to support industrial decarbonisation on Teesside; and is keen to explore options to support the development of the site, including both new nuclear technologies and hydrogen production at its Heysham site in Lancashire. EDF’s West Burton A coal-fired power station site in Nottinghamshire is on the shortlist for the UKAEA’s STEP fusion project, with a decision expected in the coming months.

Print this page | E-mail this page