Closure of nuclear plants at Heysham and Hartlepool delayed by at least two years

EDF Energy has announced it will extend the lives of two nuclear plants – Heysham 1, in Lancashire, and Hartlepool, in Teesside – by a further two years to March 2026, and possibly longer.
Both plants mark 40 years of generation this year. In 2009, when EDF took responsibility for the fleet, they were due to end generation in 2014. EDF initially invested significant resources to enable the forecast to move to 2024. The new extension is includes an ambition to continue generation for a further 12 months past the March 2026 date, although there is still a risk that the new date set today may not be achieved. The company has said that positive inspections of the graphite reactor cores during 2022 have increased confidence that the stations can generate for longer and continue to meet stringent regulatory standards. Precise closure dates will be determined by the results of regular graphite inspections and how those results are interpreted within EDF and by the independent regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation.
EDF said the additional 29TWh of electricity these stations could generate over that two-year period could help to displace 6 billion cubic metres of gas and avoid carbon emissions of 10 Mt.
The company said it had invested more than £7 billion to support extended operating lifetimes of the UK’s nuclear fleet since 2009, taking output to more than 30% above what was expected when it took them on. Over the next five years (2023-27), the aim is to invest more than £1.5billion to sustain safe and reliable generation, alongside preparing for and delivering defueling.
The estimated end of generation dates for Torness and Heysham 2 remain unchanged at March 2028.