French energy firm EDF Group has announced plans to extend the operational life of four of its eight nuclear power plants in the UK.

EDF

The decision to extend the life of nuclear power plants including Heysham 1 and Heysham 2 in Lancashire; Hartlepool in Teesside and Torness in East Lothian, is expected to safeguard 2,000 permanent staff as well as 1000 contractors.

EDF plans to extend operational life of Heysham 1 and Hartlepool by five years until 2024. The closure dates of Heysham 2 and Torness have been extended by seven years to 2030.

The four nuclear plants generate enough electricity to meet power requirement of a quarter of the UK’s homes.

EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz said: "Our continuing investment, our expertise and the professional relationship we have with the safety regulator means we can safely prolong the operating life of our nuclear power stations.

"In today’s extremely challenging market conditions, our belief that Government policy will be maintained and strengthened gives us the confidence to invest in our nuclear stations.

"This gives customers the best value low carbon electricity available."

The life extension plan is a part of company’s effort to meet power demands amid concerns over closure of aging power plants in the country, reported BBC News.

Meanwhile, the firm plans to make final investment decision £18bn Hinkley Point C nuclear plant in Somerset and commence construction in near future.

In 2015, EDF agreed to sell 33.5% stake in the project to China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) in exchange to pay a third of the project cost.


Image: The EDF’s Hartlepool nuclear power station in UK. Photo: courtesy of EDF Energy.