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EDF extend life of four nuclear power plants in the UK

News   •   Feb 16, 2016 12:21 GMT

French energy firm EDF will keep four of its eight nuclear power plants in the UK.

The decision by EDF Energy to keep four power plants within the UK will safeguard 2,000 jobs and help with tight energy supplies.

Heysham 1 in Lancashire, and Hartlepool, due to be decommissioned in 2019, will continue for an extra five years.

Heysham 2 and Torness in Scotland will have extensions of seven years to 2030.

EDF said the decision followed “extensive technical and safety reviews”.

“Our continuing investment, our expertise and the professional relationship we have with the safety regulator means we can safely prolong the operating life of our nuclear power stations,” said Chief Executive Vincent de Rivaz.

“Their excellent output shows that reliability is improving whilst their safety and environmental performance is higher than ever.”

EDF said its 2015 profits fell 68% to 1.18Bn mainly due to writedowns on coal-fired plants, with the value of plants in the UK, Italy, Poland and Belgium falling.

EDF will cut its dividend by 15 cents to €1.10 a share with an option for payment in new shares rather than cash.

Its shares have fallen almost 25% since the start of the year.

The French firm is planning to build a new nuclear power station at Hinckley Point in Somerset, and have agreed a deal in principle for the £18Bn project under which China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) will pay a third of the cost. A final investment decision is still to be made.

The four nuclear plants which will generate power for longer, supply electricity to around a quarter of the UK’s homes.

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