UK nuclear reactors support grid in cold weather

EDF’s additional investment in UK nuclear reactors, initially set to retire, has played a crucial role in maintaining the grid during the current cold spell, according to a report

The UK’s grid stability has been maintained with the support of nuclear reactors that would have retired earlier if not for additional investments.

Analysis by the Nuclear Industry Association indicates that the grid relies on Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactors (AGRs) at Heysham, Hartlepool and Torness, providing over 3.3GW of generation.

Grid margins for the evening were estimated to be below 2.5GW, as reported by LCP Enact.

The National Grid’s Winter Outlook for 2023/24 projected margins to be 4.4GW, slightly below the capacity provided by the AGR stations.

Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association Tom Greatrex said: “When margins are tight, it is nuclear that keeps the grid running. With demand high and the temperature low, nuclear keeps generating when we need it, cutting carbon, cutting gas and cutting bills.

“EDF’s investment in our fleet has been vital for our energy system as a whole. To preserve the critical contribution that nuclear has made to energy security for decades, we need to plan and finance a new fleet of stations to replace what we are going to lose this decade.”

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