A spokesperson for the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) said: “We are aware of EDF’s announcement today (9 March 2023) of its intention to extend the operating life of Heysham 1 and Hartlepool Power Stations.
“Although a plant life extension decision does not require formal regulatory assessment or approval by ONR, it is a requirement of the site licence that operations be carried out at all times under a valid safety case.
“A number of the current safety cases for the stations will need to be updated to achieve EDF’s stated ambitions, together with investment in plant to sustain equipment reliability, all while ensuring that the necessary people and skills are on site.
“The ongoing safety of operations will need to be fully demonstrated to us as part of the ongoing regulation of the sites in Lancashire and Teesside, which will be informed though our extensive inspection and assessment regime.
“Once we receive them, the safety cases from EDF will be thoroughly assessed by our team of expert inspectors.
“As the independent nuclear regulator, we will not allow any facility to operate unless we are satisfied that it is safe to do so.”