Island Waits As EDF Completes British Energy Deal

by Bill Wise

The UK moves a step closer to a new fleet of low carbon nuclear reactors with French power giant EDF completing its GBP 12.5 billion purchase of British Energy.

Great news for Anglesey too as EDF is obliged under the deal to sell options for land next to NDA owned nuclear sites including Wylfa.

And this development follows on from the recent announcement by German owned RWE Npower that it has acquired an option to buy land at Wylfa, and has secured a grid connection of 3.6GW for a new nuclear station on the island.

EDF has said it wants to build four new nuclear reactors in the UK, with a target for the first nuclear station to be generating electricity by 2017.

Ed Miliband, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, welcomed the EDF takeover, seeing it as a key step in helping the UK achieve its new carbon emission reduction targets.

Mr Miliband is also keen to see more than one operator enter the new nuclear build market.

EDF Chief Executive Pierre Gadonneix points out that the UK needs to improve its nuclear regulatory framework if the company’s 2017 goal is to be realised.

He focused on how important it is to make the development process as efficient as possible, which will imply extra cost, if the first EPR (European Pressurised Reactor) is to be on stream by the target date.

Meanwhile, as far as a Wylfa B is concerned, the government is now preparing the auction process to sell the land at Wylfa.

Among the bidders are RWE Npower, the Spanish energy giant Iberdrola and Swedish company Vattenfall.

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