EDF have got the nuclear regulator to extend the life of Dungerness power station. It was due to close in 2008, they got a first 10 year extension and now want to extend it to 2028. The details are up on their webite now. This power station has had a very chequered history. Construction started in 1965 Dungerness power station was expected to be generating by 1970. It actually started generating in 1983. There are a few other problems that Dungerness power station has. The first is that the trains used to take away the waste cross an airport runway (no I’m not making this up). The second is that the ness (the shingle spit that Dungerness power station is built on) is being washed away. A whole fleet of lorry’s and JCB’s constantly shift the shingle that is washed away back for 6 months of the year. They will have to do so for many years after it stops producing electricity. So much for low carbon energy.
I’m not in the least surprised that EDF has asked for this, nor I’m afraid am I that they got it. It makes sense to them to sweat their assets especially as they have had two or three power stations shut down due to cracks in the reactor cores (now up and running again at lower power output). However running old power stations especially nuclear into the ground worries me. We are in a different world now where the UK has installed at least two Dungerness power stations worth of solar alone over the last year.