EDF Extends Life Of UK Nuclear Plants

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EDF Energy will extend by two years the life of two British nuclear power plants which were to close in 2024. For the United Kingdom, faced, like the rest of Europe, with the explosion of energy prices, the he objective is to consolidate its electricity supply while helping to achieve its climate objectives.

EDF Energy operates Britain’s eight nuclear power stations which supply around 13% of the country’s electricity.

To extend or not to extend? In the United Kingdom, EDF Energy, the British subsidiary of EDF, decided, at least in the short term. It announced its decision on Thursday March 9 to extend the life of two nuclear power stations in the UK until March 2026. Hartlepool and Heysham 1 were due to close in 2024 but the group said last year it was examining whether it there was reason to keep them open beyond that date.

EDF Energy operates Britain’s eight nuclear power stations which supply around 13% of the country’s electricity. The group said it would invest a billion pounds (1.13 billion euros) over the period 2023-2025 to help British power plants maintain production. All but one of Britain’s nuclear power stations are due to close by 2030. EDF’s Hinkley Point C station, the first new power station in more than 20 years, is not expected to be commissioned until 2027.

Securing Your Supply

“Providing carbon-free and affordable electricity, whatever the weather, has never been more important than it is today,” said Matt Sykes, managing director of EDF’s generation business. “Our continued investment and careful stewardship of the UK nuclear fleet since 2009 has enabled us to take this decision today and contribute to the UK’s energy security at this difficult time.”

Britain has faced, like the rest of Europe, high gas and electricity prices in the past year after Russia invaded Ukraine. The country is seeking to increase its production of low-carbon nuclear power to shore up its electricity supply while achieving a climate goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. The target set is for nuclear power to meet around 25 % of the demand for electricity over this same period.

In France, the question arises whether or not to extend the life of power plants to 80 years. On January 19, the executive director of EDF in charge of the nuclear and thermal fleet Cédric Lewandowski declared, during a hearing at the National Assembly, that this was an option which had to “be put on the table”. He cited in particular the American example where six reactors would have obtained an operating license for up to 80 years, including two in Florida.

This article is originally published on usinenouvelle.com

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