EDF looks to extend Sizewell B operation

07 April 2022

EDF Energy is leading a Long-Term Operation (LTO) programme aimed at extending the operating lifespan of Sizewell B - the UK's only pressurised water reactor and newest nuclear power plant - by at least 20 years to 2055.

The Sizewell B plant in Suffolk, England (Image: EDF)

Sizewell B entered commercial operation in February 1995 and is currently expected to be in operation until 2035. By 2028, the 1198 MWe reactor will be the only operating nuclear power plant from the UK's existing fleet.

General Electric, Jacobs and Westinghouse have been selected by EDF to support the preliminary life extension work at Sizewell B.

"This is the start of a robust process which will involve key partners including Westinghouse, Jacobs, GE and Framatome, some of which were involved at the start of the station's operation," EDF Energy said.

The first phase of the LTO programme includes scoping and cost-benefit analysis. EDF Energy estimates the value of this phase at GBP10 million (USD14 million) to all participants.

Sizewell B will engage with industry regulators the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency throughout the process. Equipment will be systematically checked and the plant and partners will identify the areas where investment will be required to maintain safe and reliable generation, should the decision be taken to extend its operation to 2055.

EDF said it will make a final decision in 2024, which would then be followed by the required capital investment in the plant, safety enhancements and obtaining the necessary approvals.

"This collaboration, between Jacobs, General Electric, Westinghouse and EDF brings together the original equipment manufacturer/architect engineer organisations from the design and construction of Sizewell B in the 1990s," noted Jacobs Energy Security & Technology Senior Vice President Karen Wiemelt. "Jacobs has worked at the station since initial construction and, along with our partners, we bring intrinsic knowledge and experience of plant life extension to the LTO programme, which will help safeguard the future of a vital part of the UK's clean energy infrastructure."

"We are very proud to join Jacobs and General Electric on this key project to extend Sizewell B's operational lifetime which, in turn, will support the UK's economic growth and job market, providing a safe path to a clean energy future," said Tarik Choho, Westinghouse President, EMEA Operating Plant Services.

EDF Energy Chief Nuclear Officer Paul Morton said: "Sizewell B power station is an important national asset that helps deliver clean, independent energy supplies."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News