EDF Group announced Friday a five year extension to the operating lifetime of its nuclear reactors at Heysham 1 and Hartlepool until 2019. The decision taken at a British Energy Board meeting follows positive results from technical and economic and safety studies conducted on these reactors.
Moreover, the full deployment of the Plant Lifetime Extension (PLEX) programme, implemented by EDF Energy, could enable extended lifetimes for all Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) plants by an average of 5 years and Sizewell B by 20 years.
In its existing nuclear business in the UK, the Group’s objective is to achieve nuclear output above 55TWh per annum.
The announcements are disclosed at a meeting with the financial community in London where EDF is presenting an update of its businesses and strategy in the United Kingdom.
Today’s meeting follows the landmark announcement yesterday by the UK Government to reform its domestic electricity market. EDF Energy welcomed the announcement, which represents a major step forward for secure, affordable low carbon energy. Market reform – including a carbon price floor – is essential to incentivize investment in low carbon generation including EDF’s plans for nuclear new build in the UK.
Construction costs for the first twin nuclear plants at Hinkley Point has been evaluated to amount £9Bn, with an objective of commissioning the first power station in 2018.
According to Henri Proglio, EDF Chairman and CEO, “EDF has been active in the United Kingdom since 1998. It’s the group’s biggest single market outside France. As the largest power producer and electricity supplier, EDF Energy is a major player in the country. It is well equipped to deliver its plans for clean, affordable, secure energy.”
Along the same lines Vincent de Rivaz, EDF Energy CEO, said “The Government announcement on market reform is a landmark moment which is vital to the business case for secure and low carbon energy which is affordable for customers. Putting these reforms in place is an essential step to make our new nuclear plans possible.”
“In the meantime the UK’s existing nuclear plants are essential to its energy security. Life extension is an important way of bridging the generation gap in the UK with low carbon energy and we are delighted to be able to extend the lives of these two stations,” he added.