EDF to review case for keeping open UK nuclear plants set to close in 2024

A flag with the company logo of Electricite de France (EDF) and a French flag fly next to the EDF power plant in Bouchain, near Valenciennes, France, September 29, 2021. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

LONDON, Sept 28 (Reuters) - France’s EDF will review whether there is a case to keep open the Hartlepool and Heysham 1 nuclear power plants in Britain beyond their current expected closure date in 2024, the company said on Wednesday.

EDF, which operates all of Britain’s eight nuclear power plants providing around 13% of the country’s electricity, said it would invest 1 billion pounds ($1.1 billion) over 2023-25 to help the UK plants maintain output.

“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,” said Matt Sykes, Managing Director of EDF’s Generation business.

All but one of Britain's nuclear plants are scheduled to close by 2030, and EDF’s Hinkley Point C, the first new plant in more than 20 years, is expected to come online in 2026.

EDF said the review would be made in the coming months and that its ambition was for the two plants to generate power for longer if possible.

Britain is seeking to ramp up low-carbon nuclear power generation to help shore up its electricity supplies, while also meeting a climate target of net zero emissions by 2050, and has a goal of meeting around 25% of electricity demand with nuclear power by the same date.

($1 = 0.9410 pounds)

Reporting by Susanna Twidale Editing by Louise Heavens and Mark Potter

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