Torness nuclear power station in East Lothian is one of the plants covered by the deal

Deal extends operation of seven nuclear plants

A major contract to extend the operation of seven UK nuclear power stations has been awarded, providing up to 1,000 jobs.

A lifetime enterprise agreement (LEA) between engineering firm Doosan Babcock's and French energy giant EDF will see the firm support the on-going operation of the companies seven Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor (AGR) nuclear power stations as well as extending the working life of the plants.

The contract will call for up to 1,000 skilled employees at any one time and is expected to be worth £70m a year over several years. The power stations covered are Dungeness B in Kent, Hunterston B in North Ayrshire, Hinkley Point B in Somerset, Hartlepool, Heysham 1 and 2 in Lancashire and Torness in East Lothian.

Cameron Gilmour, Doosan Babcock's nuclear service director, said: "Doosan Babcock has a long history of supporting EDF Energy in the UK nuclear sector and we are delighted to have been given this opportunity to further build our relationship.

"The LEA is the result of close collaboration and a great deal of planning from both our companies, and will give EDF Energy access to a range of specialist skills and technologies that will support its UK power generation strategy long into the future."

Brian Cowell, director of nuclear operations at EDF Energy, said: "Doosan Babcock's unique range of skills and capabilities in nuclear engineering, combined with its longstanding relationship with EDF Energy, makes it the ideal partner to deliver the lifetime enterprise agreement.

"The contract will enable us continue to deliver the secure, reliable, low carbon electricity the UK needs now and into the future."

Energy Minister Michael Fallon said: "This shows that nuclear presents big opportunities for highly-skilled jobs, sustainable growth, and the lasting legacy of a UK supply chain. I want to make sure that the UK is at the forefront of this growing industry."

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