Stay of execution for nuclear power stations

Heysham power station

NUCLEAR power plants at Heysham in Lancashire will have their lives extended, under plans announced by French energy firm EDF.

Heysham 1 and Heysham 2, near Morecambe, will have their closure dates put back five years – until 2024 – and seven years, until 2030, respectively.

They are two of four power stations given a stay of execution with the other two in Hartlepool and Torness.

The move affects up to 2,000 workers and 1,000 contractors across all the power stations.

EDF, meanwhile said its 2015 profits fell 68% to €1.18bn mainly due to writedowns on coal-fired plants.

The results were below analysts’ expectations.

The value of plants in the UK, Italy, Poland and Belgium fell, and the company also took charges on its Edison oil and gas exploration business.

EDF will cut its dividend by 15 cents to €1.10 a share with an option for payment in new shares rather than cash.

Its shares have fallen almost 25% since the start of the year.