Reuters has reported that EDF Energy will shut Hinkley Point B nuclear power plant in southwest England earlier than planned. The date of closure will be confirmed by the end of this year.
The 1 GW plant, located in Somerset, started operations in 1976, and is scheduled to shut permanently in early 2023.
A spokesman for EDF Energy said: “It is possible we may need to move into defueling within the next two years. We will review this decision in the same detailed way as we have with Hunterston B, and expect to be able to confirm the outcome by the end of this year.” EDF Energy recently made a statement announcing plans to initiate decommissioning of the Hunterston B nuclear power plant in Scotland by January 2022.
The decision to close the Hunterston B and Hinkley Point B plants comes as a result of ageing issues and identified cracks within their graphite bricks. The EDF Energy spokesman added: This has been the case for several years and underlines the urgent need for investment in new, low-carbon nuclear power to help Britain achieve net-zero emissions and secure the future for its nuclear industry, supply chain, and workers.”
These two closures would mean four out of eight nuclear power stations in Britain would be decommissioned by March 2024.
EDF Energy is currently constructing Hinkley Point C, due to come online in 2025. It’s also awaiting the UK Government’s funding decision for its Sizewell C project.