UK AGRs record highest output in eight years

14 February 2014

Generation from EDF's French fleet remained stable in 2013, while its UK units achieved their highest output in eight years. The company looks forward to longer generation from its AGR units in the UK.

Releasing its 2013 full-year results, the French company praised the performance of its UK nuclear plants in producing 60.5 TWh of electricity, 0.5 TWh more than in 2012. The company said that the improved performance reflected "structural improvement of the AGR fleet" through planned maintenance and the company's own nuclear investment program over the past five years, as well as benefits from synergies with its French counterpart.

EDF's UK subsidiary EDF Energy confirmed that it plans to extend the operating life of the Dungeness B nuclear power plant to 2028, and expects to be able to formally announce the plant's ten-year life extension later this year. Based on expected life extensions, this means that all of EDF's current UK nuclear fleet will still be in operation in 2023 when its planned new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C is due to be commissioned if a final investment decision is taken this year. "This means existing nuclear can hand over directly to the next generation of nuclear power stations without the need for more fossil fuel generation," said EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz.

Stability in France

EDF's French nuclear units produced 403.7 TWh in 2013, down 1.2 TWh on 2012, a figure the company described as "stable" when taking into account the effect of the 2012 leap year. Although the group as a whole improved the control of unplanned outages thanks to a program of component replacements, some planned outages had been longer than expected. Output had also been affected by a drop in demand thanks to mild temperatures in December and a high output from windpower that month.

Looking forward over the period to 2018, the EDF group expects its net investments to peak in 2015 at €14 billion ($19 billion), declining as new assets such as the Flamanville 3 EPR, expected to start up in 2016, become operational.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News