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UK government now considering extending life of Sizewell nuclear power station by 20 years

UK looking to extend life of nuclear plant by 20 years amid energy crisis, Ft/com 14 Mar 22, Sizewell B in Suffolk was due to be decommissioned in 2035 and can meet about 3% of Britain’s electricity demand  

The UK is looking at a 20-year extension of the Sizewell B nuclear power plant on England’s east coast to 2055 as Boris Johnson aims to bolster domestic energy supplies following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The extension is one of several options under consideration as the prime minister draws up a new “energy supply strategy”, which will be published next week against the backdrop of highly volatile international gas prices and an escalating cost-of-living crisis.  ……………………….

Britain is set to experience a significant loss in nuclear capacity by the end of the decade as EDF of France and the UK’s Centrica, which own all of the current fleet of reactors, have been forced to close several earlier than planned.

 EDF’s 1.2 gigawatt Sizewell B plant in Suffolk, which started operating in 1995 and can meet about 3 per cent of the UK’s electricity demand, is the only one of Britain’s six remaining atomic power plants that will continue generating beyond the end of the decade. Only one new station, the 3.2GW Hinkley Point C in Somerset, is currently under construction. It is due to come on stream in 2026.  

Ministers are encouraging investors to build another new plant on a site adjacent to Sizewell B but are also keen for EDF to invest the estimated £500mn-£700mn that would be needed to extend the lifetime of the existing station to 2055. 

 Kwasi Kwarteng, business secretary, visited Sizewell in January, where he met EDF directors and some of the workforce. Government officials said Kwarteng was supportive towards EDF, which is “actively exploring” a 20-year extension for Sizewell B and is aiming to take a final decision on the project in 2024, for which UK government approval would be required. “It probably will be extended,” said one official.  …………….


March 15, 2022 - Posted by | politics, safety, UK

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