EDF Energy has signed up Doosan Babcock to provide operational support and lifetime extension services for seven Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor (AGR) nuclear power stations in the UK.
The Lifetime Enterprise Agreement (LEA) covers work at the Dungeness B, Hinkley Point B, Hunterston B, Hartlepool, Heysham 1, Heysham 2 and Torness power stations, and will run until the last of the seven power stations ceases generation.
EDF did not say how many years the agreement might last because the AGRs may operate longer than currently specified if EDF achieves its aim to seek life extensions where it is safe and economical to do so.
Last week EDF Energy announced plans to extend the life of Dungeness B by ten years to 2028, subject to obtaining the necessary approvals. Life extensions are also anticipated at Heysham 2 and Torness, which are currently due to close in 2023 without life extension.
Doosan said the new agreement would create employment for up to 1000 people at any one time. Early estimates suggest that the value of the agreement "could equate to around £70 million a year at the current time," according to Cameron Gilmour, Doosan Babcock's Nuclear Service Director.
"As this is a long-term agreement and the nature of the work will change and evolve over time, we are not able to give a precise estimate of the value," he said.
EDF Energy's award of the contract to Doosan Babcock was the culmination of two years of detailed planning.
"Doosan Babcock's unique range of skills and capabilities in nuclear engineering, combined with its long-standing relationship with EDF Energy, makes it the ideal partner to deliver the Lifetime Enterprise Agreement," commented Brian Cowell, Director of Nuclear Operations at EDF Energy.
Doosan Babcock has experience in the maintenance, repair and overhaul of nuclear reactors, as well as reactor vessel-entry services and capability in delivering high-end project, engineering and technical services.
Photo: EDF Energy's Heysham nuclear power station (Source: EDF Energy)