Third power station still a real option

Heysham 1 station director Ian Stewart.
Heysham 1 station director Ian Stewart.
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A third Heysham power station is still on the cards but may not happen until Heysham 1 is shut down.

This is the view of power plant boss Ian Stewart, who said Heysham 3 was still “absolutely a potential for the future”.

But Mr Stewart, Heysham 1’s station director, said it was unlikely three nuclear power stations would ever operate at Heysham simultaneously.

“Heysham 3 is a nominated site and that’s great for the area,” said Mr Stewart.

“The limiting factor at the moment is how much water there is in Morecambe Bay.

“My personal view is it won’t happen until Heysham 1 is shut down. I think it will be at the earliest mid-2020s.”

Heysham 1 opened in 1983 and is expected to operate until at least 2019, although Mr Stewart (right) said: “The plant is in good nick and we think we can give a good case to be working until 2024.”

Last year EDF Energy, owners of Heysham Power Stations, cancelled an agreement with the National Grid to set up a new connection to the grid from Heysham.

The site was one of eight earmarked by the Government for new stations, but EDF said it would focus immediate plans on Sizewell in Suffolk and Hinkley Point in Somerset.

In an exclusive interview with The Visitor, Mr Stewart also spoke about the death of Heysham Power Stations employee Chris Cowan, who fell 30 feet to his death in July 2010 whilst working at Heysham 1.

“Chris’ death was a big shock to us and to the industry as a whole,” said Mr Stewart.

“If there is any silver lining to something like that, the anniversary helps us reflect.

“Although the coroner ruled there was no fault to us, we have looked hard at our day-to-day processes to make sure nothing like this happens again. On the third anniversary our thoughts are with his family.”