Press Releases

Hunterston B Re-Start Welcomed as “Boost for Emissions Free Power”

27 August 2020

Today, EDF have announced that, following approval from the UK’s independent regulator, Hunterston B in North Ayrshire, Scotland, will restart generating low carbon electricity this weekend, and will move to the decommissioning phase by January 2022.

In response, Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the UK’s Nuclear Industry Association, said:

“Today’s news is a boost for emissions free power. Earlier this month, despite sunny weather and low summer demand, the UK had to burn coal to generate power. Hunterston – with its operating life having been extended by our engineering expertise here in the UK – provides low carbon power whatever the weather and over its lifetime has generated the equivalent of eight years of total power demand in Scotland, saving more than 100 million tonnes of carbon.

“With Hunterston’s move to decommissioned confirmed for January 2022, the urgency of the need to invest in new capacity to provide secure, reliable and always available low carbon power is clear. Without new nuclear power, the UK cannot meet its net zero target.

“All but one of our current nuclear fleet is due to move to decommissioning this decade, and we need to invest now in the new generation of stations to underpin the UK’s net zero ambitions, while preserving world-class expertise in our home grown supply chain.

“Projects already in the pipeline will generate tens of thousands of secure, skilled and well-paid jobs, and help accelerate investment in innovative technologies. They will provide the firm base of low carbon power we need for our net zero future.

As the electrification of transport and heat develops, the Committee on Climate Change state the UK will need to double our power capacity, and quadruple our low carbon generation. With power from nuclear and renewables, that ambition can be met.

“It is vitally important that the UK government’s forthcoming Energy White Paper sets out a clear path to ensuring that new nuclear capacity can be progressed, as an integral part of reaching Net Zero by 2050.”