EDF Shuts Dungeness U.K. Nuclear Plant 7 Years Ahead of Plan

Electricite de France SA is shutting its Dungeness nuclear power station with immediate effect, seven years sooner than planned.

The two 40-year-old reactors, which have been offline for about three years due to “significant” technical challenges, won’t restart, the company said on its website. EDF said in April that it was considering several options for the nuclear plant including closing it for good.

The U.K. will need nuclear power to help meet its pledge to zero out emissions by 2050. Closing the nation’s aging fleet earlier than planned will fuel concerns that power plants will use more polluting gas instead to fill the supply gap left by intermittent renewables, slowing the energy transition.

The shutdown of Dungeness means that by 2024 five of the U.K.’s eight nuclear plants will be halted permanently, adding to a list that includes Hunterston B, Hinkley Point B, Heysham-1 and Hartlepool-1.

While EDF is building a new plant, Hinkley Point C, that won’t be generating until 2026. The government is in talks with EDF about financing for a further station at Sizewell C.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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