LONDON (Reuters) - EDF’s Hunterston B nuclear power plant in Scotland will close on Friday after some 46 years of operation, the company said.
Britain's nuclear power plants can supply around 20% of the country's electricity demand, but around half are set to close in the next four years as they reach the end of their currently scheduled lifespan.
EDF first announced the closure of Hunterston, which was capable of generating enough electricity to power around 1.7 million homes, in August 2020.
Around 500 people worked at the plant and some 370 will stay on to help with the decommissioning process, a spokesperson for EDF said.
Britain aims to reach net zero emissions by 2050, which will require a huge increase in low-carbon power generation such as wind, solar and nuclear.
However, new nuclear projects to replace those closing have struggled to secure funding due to the large up-front costs.
France's EDF is building Britain’s first new nuclear plant in more than two decades, Hinkley Point C, with backing from China's CGN.
The facility is expected to cost 22 billion pounds-23 billion pounds ($30 billion-$31 billion) and start operation in 2026.
EDF has plans to build a second new plant, Sizewell C, but has yet to take a final investment decision on this.
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(Reporting by Susanna Twidale; Editing by Jan Harvey)