British nuclear power plants generate eight-year best


Vincent de Rivaz, EDF
Vincent de Rivaz, EDF

EDF – the French state-owned nuclear generator which owns and operates eight atomic power plants in the UK – achieved a 1.4% increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £1.689 million in 2013 compared to 2012.

EDF’s nuclear fleet, which includes two Scottish nuclear power stations at Torness and Hunterston-B, generated 60.5 TWh of electricity last year – the company’s best output in eight years.

The company reinvested all of its operational profit and more back into the business, with over £1.1bn being spent on its existing nuclear and coal stations, its new nuclear project, new generation capacity, gas storage facilities and in its customer supply business. Over the past three years, EDF has reinvested around £3.5bn back into the UK.

Vincent de Rivaz, EDF Energy Chief Executive, said: Our financial performance means we can make the big investments the country needs to give it the reliable low carbon energy it needs now and in the future. It also means we can invest in jobs and skills for the long term.

“The investment we are making in our existing nuclear power stations has resulted in their best performance for eight years.

“We believe that their operating lives can be safely extended and we expect to be able to announce a 10 year life extension for Dungeness B before the end of 2014. This means existing nuclear can hand over directly to the next generation of nuclear power stations without the need for more fossil fuel generation.”

Industry observers expect EDF to announce later this year that it will be allowed to extend the life of its Dungeness B nuclear power station by 10 years to 2028. It Kent plant is currently schedule to close in 2018.

De Rivaz added: “Based on this and other expected life extensions, all seven of our AGR stations will be operating in 2023 when the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C is due to be commissioned – if a final investment decision is taken in 2014.

In 2013 EDF Energy and the UK Government reached agreement on the principal commercial terms for Hinkley Point C in Somerset. This agreement is subject to state aid approval by the European Commission which launched an investigation in December last year (as reported in the Scottish Energy News) into the terms of the proposed agreement.

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