EDF said that the two nuclear facilities, Heysham 1 and Hartlepool, will continue to generate renewable electricity for two more years, which will improve energy security, and reduce the demand for imported gas in the UK
French electric utility company Électricité de France (EDF) has confirmed its plans to extend the operations at two nuclear power stations located in the North of England.
The company said that the two nuclear facilities, Heysham 1 and Hartlepool, will continue to generate renewable electricity for two more years.
The two nuclear facilities have completed 40 years of generation this year.
EDF took the responsibility for the Heysham 1 and Hartlepool facilities in 2009, which were due to end generation in 2014.
The company invested significant resources to extend their estimated lifetime to 2024, which has now been moved out by additional two years to March 2026.
The move will improve energy security, reduce the demand for imported gas and lower carbon emissions in the UK, said the company.
EDF generation business managing director Matt Sykes said: “Supplying zero-carbon and affordable electricity, whatever the weather, has never been more important than right now.
“Our ongoing investment and careful stewardship of the UK nuclear fleet since 2009 has allowed us to make today’s decision and helps support the UK’s energy security at this challenging time.
“As well as helping the UK reduce its use of imported gas, it is also great news for the 2,000 skilled people whose jobs are supported by these sites and will help preserve valuable technical and operational skills that will be critical as the UK seeks to re-build its nuclear capability.”
The decision is backed by a thorough review by EDF, considering technical and commercial cases for life extension.
The company said that its graphite reactor cores inspection has increased confidence that the facilities can be operated for additional tenure, meeting stringent regulatory standards.
In the extended two years, the power stations could generate an additional 29TWh of electricity, which could help to displace 6 billion cubic metres of gas.
Also, the additional generation would eliminate 10 million tonnes of carbon emissions, which is equivalent to taking five million cars off the UK’s roads for a year, said the company.