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The Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) has welcomed EDF’s intention to extend the lifespan of two of its domestic nuclear power projects.
Tom Greatrex, the chief executive of the NIA, said: “Getting the most out of our existing nuclear stations is vital to ensuring Britain has a secure supply of power going forward. Extensions would provide a critical, immediate boost to UK energy security in the short term, cutting gas use and cutting bills.”
He also urged the Government to sustain its plans to ramp up nuclear power generation to 24GW over the next three decades.
EDF revealed yesterday it was hoping to extend the lifespan of its Hartlepool and Heysham I nuclear power stations beyond their current projected end dates of March 2024, having previously extending their lifespan on two separate occasions.
Collectively, the power plants generate 2.2 GW – enough to power to meet the energy needs of 3.5m households.
The Government is determined to boost supply security over the coming years, committing to a vast expansion of renewable and nuclear energy following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
It is also looking to extend the shelf life of key power plants, even if only a backup sources of power, having secured the operation of all four of the UK’s coal power plants this winter.
EDF operates each of the UK’s eight nuclear power plants, five of which are still providing power to the grid, around 13 percent of the country’s electricity.
However, the entire fleet is set for closure by 2028 apart from Sizewell B, which will close in 2035 – with EDF currently overseeing the construction of Hinkley Point C, and holds a stake in the proposed Sizewell C project.
EDF has pledged to invest £1bn in the UK fleet to sustain output and help maintain security of supply over the next three years.
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