Sizewell B starts review to extend operation by 20 years
EDF is looking at extending the operational life of Sizewell B power station by at least 20 years, from 2035 to 2055. This will protect jobs and importantly the UK energy security as the site provides 3% of the nation’s electricity demand.
As a low carbon electricity generator, Sizewell B’s long-term operation will be key in supporting the UK’s ‘Net Zero’ climate change ambition. By 2028 Sizewell B will be the only operating nuclear power station from the existing fleet.
Together Sizewell B, Sizewell C and Hinkley Point C could deliver reliable low carbon power for more than 15million homes and enable the growth of the UK renewables sector.
A final decision will be made by EDF in 2024, which would then be followed by the required capital investment in the plant, safety enhancements and obtaining the necessary approvals.
Paul Morton, Chief Nuclear Officer said “Sizewell B power station is an important national asset that helps deliver clean, independent energy supplies.
“EDF is actively exploring a 20-year life extension opportunity to take output to 2055. A final investment decision is anticipated by 2024.”
Robert Gunn, Sizewell B Station Director, said: “I am proud of our local team at the power station and the work they do to ensure Sizewell B continues to generate the low carbon electricity that we all depend upon.”
This is the start of a robust process which will involve key partners including Westinghouse, Jacobs, GE and Framatome, some were involved at the start of the station’s operation.
Sizewell B will engage with industry regulators the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency throughout the process. Equipment will be systematically checked and the station and partners will identify the areas where investment will be required to maintain safe and reliable generation, should the decision be taken to extend the station’s life to 2055.
Sizewell B has generated low carbon power from the Suffolk coast for 27 years avoiding 81million tonnes of Co2 whilst producing enough energy to power evert home in Suffolk for 178 years. The power station is worth £40m annually to the local economy and employs about 800 local people. The power station has a longstanding commitment to training and many of the leaders there today started as apprentices coming from local schools in Suffolk.