BNFL is bringing forward the planned dates for cessation of generation at Calder Hall and Chapelcross, the company’s oldest Magnox plants. The Calder Hall reactors, originally due to start closing in 2006, will now shut down in March 2003, and those at Chapelcross, originally due to start closing in 2008, will complete a progressive shut down by March 2005.

BNFL said that it came to this decision because of a significant drop in UK electricity prices. Both stations have small capacities, leading to relatively high fixed overheads, and their operating costs have recently increased significantly. Chapelcross’ production cost, for instance, is currently £25/MWh in a market where electricity is sold at £16-17/MWh, according to BNFL.