Hinkley Point C promoter EDF Energy has extended the life of four existing nuclear power plants in the UK.
The French energy giant said the Heysham 1 plant in Lancashire and the Hartlepool power station on Teesside would remain open until 2024 rather than closing in 2019 as planned.
EDF added that Heysham 2 in Lancashire and Torness in Scotland would be operational for seven further years, taking them to 2030.
EDF Energy chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said this week: “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.
“Their excellent output shows that reliability is improving while their safety and environmental performance is higher than ever.
“In today’s extremely challenging market conditions, our belief that government policy will be maintained and strengthened gives us the confidence to invest in our nuclear stations. This gives customers the best value low carbon electricity available.
“It’s a great achievement by thousands of EDF Energy staff and partners in the supply chain who have worked so hard to show that we can deliver on performance, reliability and safety.”
A final investment decision to build Hinkley Point C in Somerset is still awaited, with the wait recently described by engineers as “extremely disappointing”.
EDF said in a statement alongside its group results this week: “Hinkley Point C is a strong project which is fully ready for a final investment decision and successful construction. Final steps are well in hand to enable the full construction phase to be launched very soon.”