Lancashire nuclear power station to close two years early

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A nuclear power station which provides work for hundreds of fuel engineers in Lancashire, is to close tow years earlier than expected.

The Heysham 2 nuclear power station in Lancashire is set to shut down for good two years earlier than planned following a new assessment.

The power station, the fuel for which is made at the Springfields factory at Salwick, will now stop generating power in 2028.

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In 2016, the site’s operational life was extended by seven years to 2030 as no new power station projects were in the pipeline and nuclear is needed to maintain a steady base load for the electricity grid.

The Heysham 2 nuclear power station on the shores of Morecambe BayThe Heysham 2 nuclear power station on the shores of Morecambe Bay
The Heysham 2 nuclear power station on the shores of Morecambe Bay

But following inspection and modelling the end will come sooner for Heysham 2 and a sister station at Torness, in East Lothian.

Mark Lees, station director at Heysham 2, said: “Investment in the plant means Heysham 2 is already operating beyond its expected 25-30 year generating life and is one of the most productive of EDF’s fleet of nuclear power stations.

“Since it first started making electricity in 1988, it has produced more than 280 terawatt hours of safe, reliable zero-carbon electricity.

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“To put that huge amount into context, that means Heysham 2 alone has safely produced enough electricity to meet the UK’s demand for two and a half years.

Mark LeesMark Lees
Mark Lees

“Heysham 2 employs more than 750 staff and has an annual wage bill of around £40m a year, and as most people live locally that provides a boost to the local economy.”

Heysham 1 will operate until 2024, and has produced 220 terawatt hours of power – the equivalent of powering all UK homes for more than two years.

Each year the nuclear sector, which employs 5,000 staff, spends more than £800m through its supply chain, 93 per cent of which is spent with UK companies, and since taking over the nuclear fleet in 2009 EDF has invested over £6bn in the plants.