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Nuclear Reactor Reprieve Puts UK Energy Plans In Doubt

Britain’s ageing nuclear reactors, which were due to close in the next decade, are set to be kept open under a plan approved by the industry’s regulator.

In a move which could have far-reaching implications for the government’s energy policy, the Office for Nuclear Regulation has told the Guardian that it is working with the country’s dominant nuclear operator, the French-owned company EDF, to extend the life of its eight nuclear power stations in the UK, and that it is “content for the plants to continue to operate”, as long as they pass regular safety tests. The two organisations are also discussing other improvements to EDF’s plants, including monitoring systems and dealing with possible the reactors’ ageing.

Just a few weeks ago ministers were still referring to the need to “keep the lights on” in Britain when a number of existing nuclear and coal power stations closed over the next few years by building new nuclear and gas power and subsidising renewable energy technologies and carbon capture and storage.

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