EDF Energy will increase its current £300m a year investment on UK nuclear plants to adopt extra safety rules imposed by Britain’s nuclear regulator after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, its chief executive told Reuters.
“We will now make over and above current investments to take into account the recommendations on backup systems, openness and transparency and so on. It’s something we can afford to do,” said Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of the British arm of France‘s EDF.
The utility, Britain’s largest nuclear operator, will up its nuclear plant spend from the current £300m yearly, but De Rivaz said a final sum had not been agreed.
EDF Energy also plans to build two new third-generation nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset, the first new nuclear plant in the UK in nearly twenty years.
The new station’s original start-up date of early 2018 has slipped due to regulation delays following Fukushima, but a new deadline will not be made public until the final investment decision is made at the end of next year, de Rivaz said.
Next to nuclear plants, EDF Energy has invested in a modern 1,300 MW gas-fired power plant at West Burton in Nottinghamshire, which is planned to open in the first half of 2012.
Britain’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) in September published a series of safety recommendations to the nuclear industry following lessons learned from Japan‘s nuclear accident which plant operators have to follow or face station shutdowns.