Cattenon Nuclear Power Station,

Nuclear Energy in the UK: Active Nuclear Power Plants

Nuclear energy in the UK: active nuclear power plants

The UK has been a leading player in nuclear energy production for more than six decades. Nuclear power plants in the country have contributed significantly to its electricity supply and play an important role in the strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The United Kingdom has had a civil nuclear program since the 1950s and currently has a fleet of nuclear power stations that provide a significant amount of electrical power to the country. In 2020, nuclear energy accounted for approximately 17% of UK electricity generation.

Most nuclear power stations in the UK are privately owned and operated by companies such as EDF Energy and British Energy. The largest nuclear power station in the United Kingdom is the Sizewell B nuclear power station in Suffolk, which has a generating capacity of 1.2 GW.

In 2008, the UK government announced plans to build a new generation of nuclear power plants to replace existing plants approaching the end of their useful lives. These new nuclear power plants are expected to provide a reliable, low-carbon energy source for the country in the future.

List of Active Nuclear Power Stations in the United Kingdom

Nuclear power plantsReactors
Dungeness-B. Romney Marsh, Kent, England 2
Hartlepool. Hartlepool, Cleveland, England 2
Heysham. Morecambe, Lancashire, England 4
Hinkley Point. Bridgwater, Somerset, England 2
Hunterston. West Kilbride, Ayrshire, Scotland 2
Sizewell-B. Leiston, Suffolk, England 1
Torness unit A. Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland 1
Torness unit B. Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland 1
Wylfa. Cemaes Bay, Anglesey, Wales 2

Sizewell Nuclear Power Station

Located on the east coast of England, in the county of Suffolk, the Sizewell Nuclear Power Station houses two reactors, Sizewell A and Sizewell B. Sizewell A is a light gas plant with a capacity of 210 MW, while Sizewell B is a pressurized water plant with a capacity of 1,198 MW.

Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station

Located in Somerset, England, the Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station has two reactors, Hinkley Point A and Hinkley Point B. Hinkley Point A is a light gas plant with a capacity of 490 MW, and Hinkley Point B is a light gas plant light with a capacity of 985 MW.

Heysham Nuclear Power Station

Located in Lancashire, Heysham Nuclear Station is home to two reactors, Heysham 1 and Heysham 2, which are light gas plants with a capacity of approximately 1,200 MW in total.

Dungeness Nuclear Power Plant

On the south-east coast of England, Dungeness Nuclear Power Station has two light gas reactors, Dungeness A and Dungeness B. Dungeness B is the only unit currently operational, with a capacity of 1,250 MW.

Torness Nuclear Power Station

Located in Scotland, the Torness Nuclear Power Station is a pressurized water plant with a capacity of 1,200 MW. It is an important part of the country's power generation infrastructure.

Future Perspectives

The UK has ambitious plans for its nuclear energy program in the coming decades.

One of the most notable projects is the construction of the Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Station in Somerset, which will have two EPR (European Pressurized Water Reactor) reactors of 1,600 MW each.

Additionally, the country is exploring the possibility of developing new advanced reactor projects and has set a goal of achieving zero carbon emissions in its power generation by 2050, strengthening the role of nuclear energy in its decarbonization strategy.


Published: March 27, 2023
Last review: November 3, 2023