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Upgrades enable ten-year extension for Dungeness nuclear plant

January 20th, 2015

EDF Energy CEO, Vincent de Rivaz, has announced an extension to the life span of the Dungeness B nuclear power plant at an event in London for EDF Energy’s strategic supply partners.

The facility is set to continue producing electricity until 2028 following a decision to drive a £150m investment programme.
Many of these companies have worked with EDF Energy (Euronext: EDF) on the investment and technical innovation needed to safely extend the life of its nuclear power stations.
The life extension at Dungeness B is part of a wider EDF Energy programme to extend the lives of its eight nuclear power stations.

It comes after extensive reviews of the plant’s safety cases and work with the independent nuclear regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR). The station will also be subject to continuing independent safety reviews by the ONR.

Improvement projects at Dungeness B have already included a £75m upgrade to control room computer systems and £8m on enhanced flood defences.

Based on the expected life extensions, all seven AGR stations will be operating in 2023 when the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C is due to be commissioned, subject to a final investment decision.

The case for investment in Dungeness B and other nuclear power stations has been supported by the existence of the capacity market – one of the reforms of the electricity market which gives investors’ confidence in highly challenging conditions. EDF Energy is currently investing around £600m a year at its eight nuclear stations.

Today’s announcement also secures 550 jobs and work for 200 contractors at the site, as well as maintaining essential expertise in engineering and the UK nuclear industry.

During the conference, new supplier contracts will be signed including:
• £150m over five years with Cape plc for the supply of access, insulation and services in support all of EDF Energy’s nuclear power stations. Around 300 jobs will be safeguarded by this contract plus 200 during “outage” maintenance periods.
• A contract with Cavendish Nuclear, part of Babcock International, for carrying out inspections of graphite in the reactors, maintaining gas circulators and providing support at all the EDF Energy nuclear stations. The agreement is worth around £40 million every year.
• A strategic nuclear partnership between EDF Energy, Amec Foster Wheeler, Cavendish Nuclear, Atkins and Doosan Babcock to share knowledge and expertise in support of the nuclear stations.

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