Market: EDF Energy will extend the life of two nuclear power plants in the United Kingdom

LONDON (Reuters) – EDF Energy, a subsidiary of EDF, announced on Thursday its decision to extend the life of two nuclear power stations in the United Kingdom until March 2026.

The Hartlepool and Heysham 1 plants were normally due to close in 2024, but the group said last year it was examining whether 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 £1bn (€1.13bn) over the 2023-25 ​​period to help UK power plants maintain output.

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.

“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 make this decision today and contribute to UK 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 objective set is for nuclear energy to meet around 25% of electricity demand by this same timeframe.

(Report Nina Chestney, Blandine Hénault and Victor Goury-Laffont for the French version, edited by Matthieu Protard and Blandine Hénault)

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