EDF Energy has announced a ten-year life extension for the Dungeness B nuclear power plant. The two-unit advanced gas-cooled reactor (AGR) will now continue generating electricity until 2028.
Dungeness B's two 545 MWe AGR reactors started up in 1983 and 1985 respectively. The decision to extend the life extension is part of EDF Energy's long-term scheme to keep their fleet of (aging) UK nuclear power stations in operation until at least 2023, when the new nuclear build, Hinkley Point C, is due to be commissioned.
EDF are also investing £150 million in the plant, including a £75 million upgrade to control room computer systems and enhanced flood defences costing £8 million, which Zyda Law submitted an Habitats Regulations Assessment, planning application, marine licence application and closure (temporary) of public right of way last year. An overall amount of around £600m is being invested in EDF's UK operational power stations per year.
The news comes as EDF recently announced that they expect to sign an investment agreement with its Chinese partners for a new reactor at Hinkley Point in southwest England by the end of March, helping pin down procurement for the £24.5bn project. The new nuclear build would be the first overseas venture for China General Nuclear Power Corp, which has negotiated for Chinese companies to get a share in supplying components to the project.
EDF Energy were granted a Development Consent Order (DCO) for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in March 2013 and has seen off judicial review challenges from the National Trust and its Irish equivalent, An Taisce.
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