LONDON Feb 13 Britain's Dungeness B nuclear
power plant in Kent could continue operating until 2028 if it is
approved for a 10-year extension, operator EDF Energy
said, pushing its years in service to 45.
The extension would mean that all eight of EDF Energy's
nuclear plants would generate until at least 2023, when the
utility plans to open a new nuclear station at Hinkley Point in
Somerset. It would push the average extension of the seven
oldest plants to eight years.
"EDF Energy now expects to achieve a 10-year life extension
for Dungeness B to 2028, subject to receiving the necessary
approvals anticipated by the end of 2014," the French
state-controlled utility said on Thursday.
Every 10 years nuclear operators must submit a so-called
periodic safety review to the nuclear regulator, which then
decides whether a station is safe to run for the additional time
Extensions also typically mean that companies can profit
from cheap generating costs, after having recouped the heavy
capital costs of building a plant years before. The two reactors
at Dungeness B have a generation capacity of 1,040 megawatts.
The company in 2012 already added another seven years to the
operational lifetime of its Hunterston B and Hinkley Point B
nuclear plants. The other five plants were built
Britain is counting on replacing its ageing fleet of nuclear
reactors with new stations to maintain power output and to lower
Seven of EDF Energy's nuclear power plants are powered by
Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactors. The newest Sizewell B, which uses
the more advanced Pressurised Water Reactor design, is expected
to operate until 2055.