skip to contentsNuclear Power Stations

This section lists the existing operating nuclear power stations and the planned "new build" ones. As with the ten planned in the 1980s, the number of likely reactors continues to dwindle as industry realises that nuclear power is not a sound financial investment. Only if reactor running costs are heavily subsidised by government are companies tempted to build them. These subsidies include

Nuclear power stations recently closed or still in operation

Power station Type No. reactors Current owners Opened Closed/due to close Status
Dungeness A Magnox Magnox Ltd. for Nuclear Decom. Authority (NDA) 1965 2006 Defuelling completed 2012.
Sizewell A Magnox 2 Magnox/NDA 1966 2006 Defuelling due to end in 2014
Oldbury Magnox 2 Magnox/NDA 1967 2011/12 Defuelling to start in June 2015.
Wylfa Magnox 2 x 490 MW Magnox/NDA 1971 2012/14 Original shut-down date for both: 2010. Reactor 1 life extended by cannibalising rods from reactor 2 (closed 2012). Reactor 1 due to close 2014; announced in May 2013 that operator wants to extend life to Dec.2015. Magnox rods no longer in production. No current flood risk (2010)
Hinkley Point B AGR (orig) 2 x 625 MW 80% EDF 20% Centrica 1976 2023 Lifetime extended from 2011 to 2016 in 2007 and from 2016 to 2023 in 2012. From 2012 now a 890 MW plant "due to boiler temperature restrictions". Flood risk: med. (10)
Hunterston B AGR (orig) 2 x 610 MW EDF/Centrica 1976 2023 Lifetime extended from 2011 to 2016 in 2007 and from 2016 to 2023 in 2012. From 2012 now a 890 MW plant "due to boiler temperature restrictions". Flood risk: no
Heysham 1 AGR 2 x 575 MW EDF/Centrica 1983/4 2019 Lifetime extended from 2014 in Dec.2010. Further 7-year extension to be considered in 2016 (announced 2012). Current flood risk (2010): low
Dungeness B AGR 2 x 615 MW EDF/Centrica 1983/5 2018 Lifetime extended from 2008 to 2018 in 2005. Further 7-year extension to be considered in 2016 (announced 2012). Current flood risk (2010): high
Heysham 2 AGR 2 x 625 MW EDF/Centrica 1988 2023 Lifetime extended from 2018 in Dec.2010. Further 7-year extension to be considered in 2016 (announced 2012). Current flood risk (2010): low
Torness AGR 2 x 682 MW EDF/Centrica 1988 2023 Lifetime extended from 2018 in Dec.2010. Further 7-year extension to be considered in 2016 (announced 2012).
Hartlepool AGR 2 x 595 MW EDF/Centrica 1989 2019 Lifetime extended from 2014 in Dec.2010. Further 7-year extension to be considered in 2016 (announced 2012). Current flood risk (2010): high
Sizewell B PWR (1) 1200MW EDF/Centrica 1995 2035 Lifetime extension of 20 years to be considered in 2016 (announced 2012).

 

Planned new nuclear power stations

Timeline:
2008: government gave go-ahead for new nuclear power stations
2009: 10 potential sites identified; 2010: reduced to 8 (see below)
2012 (Dec.): Environment Agency announces EPR design has passed its generic design assessment, but with some issues unresolved. (This has taken 7 years, which means it was submitted in 2005.)

Power station Type No. reactors Current owners Planned opening Status
Hinkley Point C Areva EPR 2 x 1600 MW NNB Generation co (orig. 20% Centrica, 80% EdF; 100% EdF - from Jan.2013) Orig. 2017. March 2013: planning permission given for station. Oct.2013: EdF said that if it can make final investment decision by July 2014, estimates opening in 2023. Site cleared. Application to Infrastructure Planning Commission 2011. Sept.2012: reported EdF looking for new partners in project. Nov.2012: Contractors Laing O'Rourke say timetable for building slipped by 2 years, with first concrete pouring now scheduled for mid-2015. Dec.2012: EdF puts off final investment decision to April 2013 (from end 2012). Jan.2013: Centrica pulls out; reported EdF looking to sell 49% stake in project. March 2013: Government approves building of Hinkley C. Oct.2013: Strike price of 92.5/MWh agreed, but EdF puts off go-ahead decision till after various conditions are met, including EC approving the agreement as not infringing its state aid regulations (ie. that this subsidy will not be treated as a subsidy).
Sizewell C Areva EPR 2 x 1600MW As for Hinkley Orig. 2017; "estimated 7 to 8 year construction phase." (EADT) Sept. 2012: EdF sends draft statement of community consultation to both the county council and Suffolk Coastal District Council for its plans for Sizewell C. Centrica pulls out Jan.2013.
Heysham 3 Areva EPR orig. 2? As for Hinkley Plans dropped, 2012 March 2012: EdF Energy cancels agreement with National Grid to set up any new connection to the grid from Heysham. Says all its plans for new stations will be focused on their sites at Sizewell and Hinkley Point. "Not ruled out future development at Heysham."
Wylfa & Oldbury Hitachi "Advanced Boiling Water Reactors" (ABWR) 2 or 3, each about 1350 MW Horizon (orig. owned 50-50 by E.On & RWE; now 100% Hitachi) "The first plant could be feeding electricity into the grid in the first half of the 2020s." - DECC press release, 30/10/12. Company and rights to build at the two sites bought for 696 million by Hitachi in October 2012 from E.On and RWE who announced they were no longer interested in building at Wylfa and Oldbury. Only other bidder was Westinghouse. Reported that UK firms Babcock and Rolls Royce have signed memoranda of understanding to join with Hitachi to plan and deliver new reactors. Reported that Hitachi want other partners in project before they start building. Reactor design submitted to UK regulators, 10/4/13. Approval process can take 4 years.
Sellafield Not decided? NuGen (orig. owned by French GDF Suez and Spanish Iberdrola (37.5% each) and Scottish and Southern Energy (25%). SSE pulled out in Sept.2011. April 2012: GDF Suez said it needed more financial incentives to proceed. Sept.2012: The Sunday Times claims that Iberdrola had told partner GDF Suez that it is withdrawing; and that it was "unlikely" GDF Suez would proceed on its own. NuGen denies report, but says it will not make final investment decision for 3 years. Sept.2013 reported that Iberdrola in talks with Toshiba to sell its stake
Hartlepool EDF energy Government go-ahead for building station 2009. No indication that EdF is interested in building new power station at site.
Bradwell EDF energy March 2012: DECC "spokesman" said that the obligation to sell the Bradwell site - imposed by the government when EdF bought British Energy in 2009 - remains in force. EdF has made no move to develop or sell site.

It was reported on 23rd October 2012 that the government is considering underwriting even the costs of building new nuclear power stations, which could amount to billions of pounds of further subsidy. Clearly the government is giving the impression that private industry is unwilling to take on the risk that nuclear new build costs will spiral. (Not unrealistic as the two new EPR designs in Finland and France are up to 100% over budget and three years behind schedule.) Government is already committed to underwriting insurance costs - another massive subsidy. It has also negotiated a "strike price" of 92.5/MWh with EdF at Hinkley C, which means taxpayers will make up the difference if the price of electricity on the market falls below this - a potentially enormous subsidy. And the costs of storing the highly radioactive nuclear waste long term has also been pegged at a ridiculously low rate, especially given that no such facility yet exists.


skip to contents created: 30-Nov-13