Operating life of nuclear power station extended

13:16 04 December 2012

Archant

Hinkley B to power around two million homes until at least 2023. Energy Minister John Hayes hails EDF Energy decision as “absolutely fantastic news”. At least 1,100 jobs secured.

EDF Energy is to extend the operating life of its Hinkley Point B nuclear power station by seven years.

The decision means the station will generate low carbon electricity until at least 2023, providing power to around two million homes.

EDF is also to extend the operating life of another power station, Hunterston B, securing a total of more than 1,000 jobs.

Energy Minister John Hayes MP has hailed the announcement as “fantastic news”.

In a statement, released half an hour ago, he said: “It is absolutely fantastic news for our energy security that these two nuclear power stations will continue generating vast amounts of electricity into the 2020s.

“This decision will also secure hundreds of skilled jobs in both Somerset and North Ayrshire, highlighting the value of nuclear energy to our economy and society.”

Initially due to be decommissioned in 2016, the power station serves much of the South West.

EDF Energy’ chief executive, Vincent de Rivaz, made the announcement as he re-opened the visitor centre for Hinkley Point B in nearby Bridgwater – part of an initiative to make the nuclear industry more open and accessible for local communities.

He said: “This decision will provide low carbon energy to keep the lights on in the UK and it will safeguard jobs at the plants, in the UK nuclear industry and its supply chain. It follows a thorough review of safety over the lifetime of each of the plants.

“We continue to invest £300 million each year on capital expenditure in the nuclear fleet, and we spend an additional £350 million on plant operations with 90 per cent of the total being spent in the UK.

“Extending the plants’ lives also brings significant training and employment opportunities for a new generation of nuclear engineers and operators as we seek to develop the UK’s position as a primary source for skills and expertise in the industry.”

Mr de Rivaz added: “Life extension does not replace the need for new low carbon generation. Even as we agree to extend the life of our existing plants, we are moving forward with plans to create the next generation of nuclear power stations.”

Hinkley Point B and Hunterston B employ 73 apprentices, with around 20 new apprentices joining the scheme each year.

The programme is set to continue throughout the extended lives of both stations.

A total of 1,500 plus people are employed at Hunterston and Hinkley, including 200 full-time contract staff at each site.

EDF Energy expects an average of seven-year life extensions across all its Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor stations and a 20-year extension for Sizewell B, the only Pressurised Water Reactor in the UK.

This would increase the amount of CO2 avoided by 340 million tonnes - the equivalent of removing all cars from UK roads for nearly five years.

Historically, Hinkley has always had the strongest community recognition. Over 1,000 visitors have already visited the station this year.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Thursday, March 26, 2015
The President of Devon Petanque Region, John Thatcher, and Honiton mayor, Peter Halse, cut the ribbon to Honiton's new Petanque Club and court. Ref mhh 1130-12-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

The petanque terrain at the Mountbatten Sports and Social Club was opened on Thursday, March 19.

Read more
Thursday, March 26, 2015
rugby generic picture

As the Lacemen’s Colts licked their wounds from their recent defeat by a strong Barum outfit, they travelled to Okehampton for a must-win game and produced the goods in a 25-15 result, writes Paz Parratt

Read more
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Rugby

Honiton second XV were confident and commanding across the pitch as they won a derby meeting with Sidmouth 41-10, writes Tom Churchward.

Read more
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Britain's 10 Most Wanted.

National Crime Agency and Crimestoppers launch appeal to capture 10 wanted men believed to be hiding in Spain.

Read more
Monday, March 16, 2015
Convivium

For many music lovers, a performance of Handel’s Messiah is as much a part of Easter as chocolate eggs, fluffy chicks and nodding daffodils.

Read more
Monday, March 16, 2015
Sidford Badminton Club

Sidford Social Hall plays host to a badminton club that is seeing numbers drop and is now in need of some fresh new faces.

Read more
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Exmouth tennis starlet Josie Culliford

Exmouth tennis starlet Josie Culliford enjoyed success at a recent competition in Cheddar, writes Stephen Birley.

Read more
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Football generic picture

With both Millwey Rise teams struggling to fulfil their numbers through injury and late withdrawals the ensuing results were better than what perhaps was expected, writes Dick Sturch.

Read more
Sunday, March 8, 2015
Super-fit Charlotte Venn - fundraising skydiver and marathon runner

Charlotte, who ran the Barcelona marathon in 2004, is hoping to raise £1,000 in sponsorship by taking part.

Read more
Sunday, March 8, 2015
Jack Britten, Devon Roe-Lavery, coach Helen Reddy, Catie Lee and Valentine Tutcher.

The acrobatic gymnastics season is well and truly under way for Honiton Gymnastics Club men’s pair Devon Roe-Lavery and Jack Britten.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 6°C

Most Read News

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition today E-edition



Honiton's trusted business finder