Lancaster City Council leader urges support for extension of Heysham nuclear power stations

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The leader of Lancaster City Council has written to the district’s two MPs and the Government in a bid to secure the extension of the lifespan of Heysham’s two nuclear power stations.

EDF, which operates Heysham 1 and 2, recently announced plans to invest an additional £1.3bn in the UK's five generating nuclear power stations from 2024 to 2026.

Last year the company extended the life of Heysham 1 by two years meaning it would be open until 2026, while Heysham 2 is currently due to open until 2028.

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The proposed plans aim to maintain the current output levels of Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors (AGRs) at Torness, Heysham, and Hartlepool for "as long as possible," with a regulatory decision expected by the end of 2024. As the host local authority to Heysham 1 and 2, the city council has emphasised the significance of these power stations.

Heysham 1 power station.Heysham 1 power station.
Heysham 1 power station.

Beyond their crucial role in contributing to lower carbon energy production and enhancing energy resilience, they play a substantial part in both the national and local economy.

Coun Phillip Black, leader of Lancaster City Council, has written to Cat Smith, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, and David Morris, who represents Morecambe and Lunesdale, asking for their support.

A third letter has been sent to Andrew Bowie, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, urging the Government take into account the impact of the power stations on the local community as part of the approval process.

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Coun Black said: “While independent inspections and the necessary regulatory approvals are essential and paramount to ensure safety, there are many other factors that also need to be taken into account when deciding whether the power stations should continue to operate.

“In our district, the business rates paid by the power stations constitute a significant portion of the city council's budget, facilitating the delivery of essential services to local communities.

“A decision that combines safety assurances with the wider benefits of Heysham 1 and 2 will instil confidence and job security for the many skilled individuals and their families in the region. It will also boost the local supply chain and enable the council to plan its medium-term financial strategy with greater certainty.”