EDF is seeking to review whether two nuclear power plants can operate beyond their planned lifespan.
The Heysham 1 and Hartlepool nuclear power stations are due to be decommissioned in March 2024.
The company said: “The case to extend generation at Hartlepool and Heysham 1 power stations (2.2GW) – beyond the current estimated end date of March 2024 – will be reviewed in the coming months, with an ambition to generate longer if possible.”
EDF had previously agreed on keeping West Burton A coal-fired power station open for a further six months until 31st March, with an estimated 400MW available if needed by National Grid.
Matt Sykes, Managing Director of EDF’s Generation business, said “The 5,000 people managing the UK’s existing nuclear fleet continue to make a vital contribution to powering households and businesses with clean and affordable electricity during this very challenging time.
“Our priority in the next few years is to deliver as much output as we safely can from the existing fleet, to support security of supply and help preserve the UK’s nuclear skills.”
The Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) has welcomed EDF’s plan to extend the life of the two nuclear power plants.
Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the NIA, said: “Getting the most out of our existing nuclear stations is vital to ensuring Britain has a secure supply of power going forward. Extensions would provide a critical, immediate boost to UK energy security in the short term, cutting gas use and cutting bills.
“The nuclear fleet provides excellent value to consumers as a secure, sustainable and affordable source of power on the grid and a backbone of stable output. The strong performance of the current fleet shows the benefit of having a series of stations working in tandem alongside renewables.”