Heysham power station bosses “delighted” by seven year extension

Heysham 2 station director John Munro
Heysham 2 station director John Munro

Bosses at Heysham power stations have given the green light for nuclear energy to be produced there until at least 2030.

The move will safeguard around 1,500 local jobs and continue to pump £80m into the district’s economy every year.

Heysham 1 plant manager Mark Lees

Heysham 1 plant manager Mark Lees

EDF Energy has announced that Heysham 1 will run until at least 2024, formerly 2019, and Heysham 2 until 2030, formerly 2023.

But the company says it has no current plans to build a Heysham 3.

Heysham 2 station director John Munro and Heysham 1 plant manager Mark Lees said they were “delighted” with the announcement.

Mr Munro said: “This is fantastic news for staff and of course the local economy.

Heysham Power Stations. Photo by Russ Holt

Heysham Power Stations. Photo by Russ Holt

“We have an ambition on this site to support these power stations for as long as it’s safe and commercially viable to do so. We’ve been operating Heysham 2 for 27 years and the last three years has been the best in terms of operation for the whole period. We also work with around 40 local companies so it will come as great news to them as well.”

Mr Lees said: “It’s worth saying that the only reason we’re able to make the announcement today is the excellent performance of all the staff over the many years.

“Some of the guys started as apprentices straight from school and have been with the station all the way through.”

In terms of a potential third power station at Heysham, Mr Lees said: “EDF’s position is clear. The land has capabilities to hold new build, but the company has no plans to build a Heysham 3.”

Heysham 1 started operating in 1983 and its life has been extended twice already. Heysham 2 opened in 1988 and this will be its first extension.

The two reactors on each site provide low carbon energy for around four million homes.

In October 2010 the government announced that Heysham was one of the eight sites it considered suitable for future nuclear power stations.

David Morris MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale said: “Today’s announcement is fantastic news for the whole economy in Morecambe and Lunesdale.

“I am still campaigning hard for the build on Heysham 3 to start as soon as possible and today’s announcement goes some way to bridging the gap between the stations coming to the end of their lives and the new station opening.

“This will keep our skilled nuclear jobs in our area and help the wider supply chain for the nuclear industry locally.”