HUNTERSTON B nuclear power station has been given a new lease of life.

Plant owner Doosan Babcock has agreed a £70million-a-year deal with French energy giant EDF to extend the life of the 37-year-old plant and seven of its eight UK nuclear power stations.

The contract will see Doosan Babcock support ongoing operations and deliver projects to aid life extension.

The deal covers Hinkley Point B in Somerset, Hartlepool, Hunterston B, Torness, East Lothian,Heysham 1 and 2, Lancashire, and Dungeness B, Kent.

Doosan Babcock said the deal would safeguard about 1,000 jobs.

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 lifetime enterprise agreement 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.” Brian Cowell, director of nuclear operations at EDF Energy, said: “The contract will enable us continue to deliver the secure, reliable, low carbon electricity the UK needs now and into the future.”