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    UK welcomes extension of two EDF nuclear power plants

    March 14, 2023 - AFP World News


      Britain's government and its biggest domestic energy supplier Centrica on Tuesday welcomed news that EDF will extend the life of two nuclear power stations in northern England.

      French energy giant EDF decided last week that it will operate its Hartlepool and Heysham 1 open for two years longer than previously planned until 2026.

      The announcement was aimed at curbing UK demand for gas imports while also lowering carbon emissions.

      Nuclear power is regarded as vital for UK energy security after key producer Russia's invasion of Ukraine, ordered by President Vladimir Putin one year ago, sent gas and electricity bills rocketing across Europe.

      "EDF's decision to extend the life of the Heysham 1 and Hartlepool power stations is therefore welcome news, and comes on top of the investment we are already making in new nuclear," said UK energy minister Grant Shapps.

      Centrica, which owns domestic energy provider British Gas, added in a separate statement that EDF's decision would add considerably to its own energy generation volumes between 2024 and 2026.

      The decision will add the equivalent of 70 percent of Centrica's total 2022 nuclear volumes over the period, it estimated.

      Britain is meanwhile turning more to nuclear to help meet its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

      Shapps on Tuesday also cited UK investments in the planned Sizewell C nuclear power station on the coast of eastern England.

      EDF is also building Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in southwestern England, although it has been blighted by delays and rising construction costs.





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