Jobs have been secured at Dungeness B power station with a £150 million investment securing its life for another decade.
Dungneness B is one of the largest employers in the Rye area and takes on apprentices from local schools.
The station, operated by EDF Energy employs 550 people plus another 200 contract staff which can increase four-fold during planned maintenance programmes.
Improvement projects at Dungeness B have already included a £75m upgrade to control room computer systems and £8m on enhanced flood defences.
News of the extension comes after extensive reviews of the plant’s safety cases and work with the independent nuclear regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).
The station will also be subject to continuing independent safety reviews by the ONR.
It will enable the station to continue generating low carbon electricity until 2028, producing enough power each year to supply the equivalent of 1.5m homes.
Vincent de Rivaz, EDF Energy Chief Executive, said: “The decision to extend the life of Dungeness B is only possible because of the collaboration, innovation and technical expertise of EDF Energy and its long-term partners.
“ Customers will benefit from this significant investment through many more years of reliable, low carbon electricity.”
Martin Pearson, Station Director at Dungeness B, said: “We’ve invested heavily in Dungeness so that we could make the case to safely extend its life by ten years.
“Life extension means the station will continue to provide hundreds of skilled jobs and provide a launchpad for the apprentices who will begin their careers at Dungeness B. We’ll also carry on contributing more than £40 million to the local economy in Kent and East Sussex.”
EDF Energy says it is committed to making Dungeness B accessible to local communities and to use it as a source of scientific inspiration and education for local schools and students.
Since the opening of its visitor centre in 2013, more than 10,000 people have been to the station to see nuclear power at first hand.