28 Sep 22
Generation

EDF provides update on UK’s existing nuclear fleet

EDF provides an update on its UK nuclear generation business today, to help develop understanding of its role in short term energy security, as well as helping the UK deliver longer-term policy objectives. EDF owns and operates eight nuclear power stations across the UK, five that are generating and three in the defueling phase. It is building Hinkley Point C in Somerset and there are plans to develop a sister station at Sizewell C, with a final investment decision due in 2023.

EDF’s role in short-term energy security

  • Over the 2023-25 period, EDF plans to invest £1billion in the UK fleet to sustain output and help maintain security of supply
  • The case to extend generation at Hartlepool and Heysham 1 power stations (2.2GW) - beyond the current estimated end date of March 2024 - will be reviewed in the coming months, with an ambition to generate longer if possible
  • Output from the nuclear fleet in 2022 is forecast to be 42TWh (13% of UK demand), which is in line with the plan and sold well below current wholesale prices
  • During the next 18 months total available generating capacity is 5.5GW, providing an important source of home-grown, low-carbon* power that helps limit gas imports
  • In its thermal business, EDF has answered a Government request to keep part of West Burton A coal-fired power station open for a further six months (to 31 March 2023), with 400MW available if needed by National Grid.

Matt Sykes, Managing Director of EDF’s Generation business, said “The 5,000 people managing the UK’s existing nuclear fleet continue to make a vital contribution to powering households and businesses with clean and affordable electricity during this very challenging time. Our priority in the next few years is to deliver as much output as we safely can from the existing fleet, to support security of supply and help preserve the UK’s nuclear skills.”

Long term commitments – nuclear skills and investment

Over the longer term, EDF is committed to playing its part in the Government’s commitment to expand UK nuclear capacity up to 24GW by 2050. With major interests in four of the eight designated sites for development (Hinkley Point, Sizewell, Hartlepool and Heysham), the company is working with ‘Great British Nuclear’ to help Government develop ideas on how to bring the policy goals to life.

Preserving and developing nuclear skills - alongside financing and planning consent for new nuclear - is a key priority for all those with an interest in re-building the UK’s nuclear capabilities. This year EDF will invest around £40million in training its nuclear workforce and continues to build a centralised technical skills capability to support future developments. Next year EDF will hire up to 200 people to join its existing fleet and move its operational and technical headquarters to smaller, more modern offices in Gloucester and Glasgow.

Matt Sykes said, “Our business vision is focused on harnessing our nuclear skills and capabilities to support the industry’s transformation and to help manage the gap between older stations coming offline and future ones starting up; all those with an interest in the sector’s future need to work together towards that common goal.”

In terms of investment, EDF and partners are investing £26billion to construct Hinkley Point C, a 3.2GW power station that will supply 7% of the UK’s electricity. Advanced plans are in place for a replica at Sizewell C in Suffolk, and EDF is pursuing a 20-year extension of Sizewell B out to 2055. The company is also working with technology providers on plans for Advanced Modular Reactors (AMRs) at its Hartlepool site, to support industrial decarbonisation on Teesside; and is keen to explore options to support the development of the site, including both new nuclear technologies and hydrogen production at its Heysham site in Lancashire. EDF’s West Burton A coal-fired power station site in Nottinghamshire is on the shortlist for the UKAEA’s STEP fusion project, with a decision expected in the coming months.

*The UK Fuel Mix disclosure information, published by Government Department BEIS, recognises electricity from wind, solar and nuclear fuel produces zero carbon dioxide emissions at the point of generation.

Notes to editors

  • EDF owns four of the eight sites identified by Government for new nuclear development – Hinkley Point, Sizewell, Hartlepool and Heysham.
  • At Hinkley Point EDF and CGN are investing £26billion to construct Hinkley Point C, the first new nuclear power station for three decades. Output from Unit 1 is forecast to start in June 2027. Hinkley Point B power station ended generation last month as the UK’s most productive green energy asset ever, after 46 years operation.
  • At Sizewell, the company operates the Sizewell B power station and is pursuing a 20 year extension to the Sizewell B power station, to take generation out to at least 2055. A decision is due in 2024.  Planning permission was granted in July for the Sizewell C proposals and a final investment decision is due in 2023.
  • At Hartlepool, the current AGR power station is due to end generation in March 2024, subject to a review next year. Plans are developing to host Advanced Modular Reactors there and EDF is in discussions with a number of potential technology providers.
  • At Heysham, EDF operates two power stations, employing over 1,000 people in the local area, and these stations are due to generate until 2024 and 2028 respectively. EDF is in the early stages of exploring options for the site’s longer term future.
  • Delivering the defueling obligations for the 14 reactors (7 stations) in the AGR fleet (over the 2022-2032 period) is a major responsibility and will help preserve technical and operational skills while the new build programme develops.
  • View the full EDF Generation strategy document here.

For more information contact:

Fiona McCall – Senior External Affairs Manager – fiona.mccall@edf-energy.com

Or call EDF’s media line on 01452 652233 and a member of the team will respond.