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Advanced gas-cooled plants could now operate until 2026 in ‘critical boost’ for energy security Hartlepool A has two advanced gas-cooled reactor units that began commercial operation in 1989. Courtesy EDF Energy. EDF Energy is to keep four nuclear power reactors at the Heysham A and Hartlepool A nuclear power stations operating until 2026, two years longer than previously planned, because of the impact of war in Ukraine and energy price rises.

Both the stations, in the north of England, have been operating since the 1980s. EDF announced in September 2022 it was reviewing the case for a short extension.

The two stations were originally due to end generation in 2014. EDF Energy said it invested significant resources to enable the forecast to move to 2024. This has now been moved by a further two years to March 2026.

Heysham A and Hartlepool A both have two advanced gas-cooled reactor units. According to the Intrnational Atomic Energy Agency they all began full commercial operation in 1989, although the IAEA says they were first connected to the grid in either 1983 or 1984.

According to International Atomic Energy Agency data, the net capacity of all four units combined in 2,245 MW.

Date: Friday, 10 March 2023
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Company plans to invest £1 billion in fleet Hartlepool houses two advanced gas-cooled reactor unit. It is sited in County Durham, Northeast England. Image courtesy Creative Commons. Power utility EDF Energy is planning to review the case to extend generation at its Hartlepool and Heysham A nuclear power stations in northern England beyond the current estimated end date of March 2024, with an ambition to generate longer if possible.

The company said on Wednesday (28 September) that over the 2023-25 period, it plans to invest £1bn (€1.1bn, $1.07bn) in the UK nuclear fleet to sustain output and help maintain security of supply.

Hartlepool has two advanced gas-cooled reactor units (AGRs) that have been in commercial operation since 1989. Heysham A has two AGRs that also began operation in 1989. According to International Atomic Energy Agency data, the net capacity of all four units combined in 2,245 MW.

Date: Thursday, 29 September 2022
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Country at risk to have just one station operational beyond 2030 An all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on nuclear energy in the UK parliament has called on UK policy makers to “take decisions urgently in this parliament” to restore UK nuclear capacity to at least 10 GW based on “deployable technologies” by the early 2030s.

The APPG said in a new report supported by the UK Nuclear Industry Association that most of the UK’s commercial reactor units will retire by March 2024 with Sizewell B being the only station of the current fleet still operating in the next decade.

Without new investment, the UK will lose critical capabilities and its position as “an international leader” in nuclear technology, the report warned.

Date: Thursday, 01 July 2021
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Defuelling of reactors scheduled to begin no later than July 2022 The two Hinkley Point B reactors will shut down within the next two years. Courtesy EDF Energy. EDF Energy has confirmed it will begin shutting down the two gas-cooled reactors at Hinkley Point B nuclear power station in southwest England within the next two years, earlier than scheduled.

The defueling of the two plants, Hinkley Point B-1 and Hinkley Point B-2, will begin no later than July 2022, according to the French energy group.

The shutdown was scheduled for 2023, but cracks were discovered in the graphite core of the reactor. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Hinkley Point B-1 began commercial operation in October 1978 and Hinkley Point B-2 in September 1976.

Matt Sykes, the managing director of EDF Generation, said an inspection of Hinkley Point B’s graphite blocks revealed they were “in exactly the sort of condition” expected after 40 years of generating electricity. He said running a nuclear power plant this efficiently for over 40 years leads to changes in the reactors.

Date: Saturday, 21 November 2020
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The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched a consultation until 14 September on draft regulations that aim to enable a domestic nuclear safeguards regime following the UK's withdrawal from the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) as part of its departure from the European Union.

Date: Thursday, 12 July 2018
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