Tees Valley Mayor and Hartlepool council boss leading efforts to bring new nuclear reactor to town

Civic chiefs are talking up Hartlepool as an ideal site for a new state-of-the-art nuclear reactor.

Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 3:27 pm

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen says it is a “no brainer” for the town to get a next generation reactor like the type being developed by Rolls-Royce.

He is working with EDF Energy, operators of Hartlepool’s Nuclear Power Station, which is due to be decommissioned in 2024, Hartlepool Borough Council and the Government try to make it happen.

Denise McGuckin, the managing director of the council, has also had meetings with Rolls-Royce and civil servants to put Hartlepool’s case.

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Hartlepool Power Station run by EDF Energy. Picture by FRANK REID

Mayor Houchen said: “Since 1983 the Hartlepool nuclear power station has been providing power to millions of people across the country.

"As Rolls-Royce begins developing a new generation of small modular nuclear reactors it's a no brainer to build one in Hartlepool.

“The power station already supports a huge number of local jobs, that’s why I’m working with EDF who operate the existing reactor, the council and Government to make sure Hartlepool gets a new state-of-the-art reactor so we can bring even more high-skilled, well-paid jobs to the town.”

He said the region is leading the way in innovative green industries adding: “The delivery of a small modular nuclear reactor could be another string to our bow.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and Hartlepool Borough Council managing director Denise McGuckin have been involved in talks to try to bring a new nuclear reactor to Hartlepool.

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Ms McGuckin said: “We have always believed Hartlepool is the ideal location for a new generation nuclear reactor and – over the years – I have met with Rolls Royce and civil servants to ensure Hartlepool’s voice continues to be heard.

“The Tees Valley devolution deal makes it clear Government welcomes new nuclear investment in Hartlepool and we are working closely with colleagues at the Tees Valley Combined Authority to ensure we receive a new generation reactor.

“We also worked to ensure this was included in the Tees Valley Local Industrial Strategy.

“Our power station employs a huge number of local people and last year generated low carbon electricity for 2.3 million homes and it is vital this continues.”

Rolls-Royce chief executive Warren East said: “With the Rolls-Royce SMR technology, we have developed a clean energy solution which can deliver cost competitive and scalable net zero power for multiple applications from grid and industrial electricity production to hydrogen and synthetic fuel manufacturing.”

EDF Energy has been approached for comment.

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