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1 Jun, 2022 11:03

UK power crunch may worsen

Hinkley Point B nuclear plant will be decommissioned this summer, according to its French owner
UK power crunch may worsen

Electricite de France SA (EDF) has announced it won’t extend the lifespan of one of its nuclear power plants in Britain even as the UK government seeks solutions to cope with an energy crunch.

In a memo sent to staff on Monday, the company confirmed the closure of the two reactors at Hinkley Point B in Somerset, which are scheduled to be shut down on 8 July and 1 August.

The closure of the plant will remove nearly a gigawatt of power generation capacity from the UK’s grid, which was enough to supply 1.5 million homes.

The company previously said it would consider keeping the plant open throughout the winter if asked to do so by the British government.

The 50-year-old Hinkley Point B has already stayed open 15 years longer than originally planned, with its lifespan extended in 1996, 2006 and again in 2016.

Meanwhile, UK officials have been raising concerns over the danger of winter blackouts. They’ve warned that as many as six million British households could be subjected to power cuts if Russian gas supplies to Europe stop, according to The Times. The government has denied reports that it’s planning to ration electricity this winter.

Britain has been searching for alternative energy supplies since vowing to end the importation of Russian oil by the end of the year. They have also been seeking to bolster electricity supply by extending the life of the country’s coal and aging nuclear power stations.

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