EDF Energy plans to build two new reactors at Hinkley Point on the northern Somerset coast next to the existing Hinkley Point A station, which is being decommissioned, and Hinkley Point B station, which is operational.
This project and all of its associated developments are known as Hinkley Point C. If the investment framework is approved, Hinkley Point C will be the first in a new generation of UK nuclear power stations, marking a significant moment in the revitalisation of the UK’s nuclear power industry. A new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point will not only provide a clean, secure and affordable source of electricity for around five million homes, but it will also provide:
- Around 900 jobs at the new power stations for more than 60 years
- Around 25,000 employment opportunities throughout the build for nearly a decade
- A programme of investment in community wellbeing, education, employment and skills
- Opportunities for businesses to win a share of the £16 billion to be invested in construction
We put first nuclear safety, industrial safety and respect for the environment.
Hinkley Point C is a proposed 3.2 GW nuclear power plant with two EPR reactors (each of 1.6GW). It should produce almost four times more electricity than the Hinkley Point B station’s two reactors.
EPR reactors have enhanced safety features with multiple safety systems. They are more efficient and produce less long-lived radioactive waste compared with existing water reactors and use less uranium.
Main earthworks will require the excavation of 4m cubic metres of earth equivalent to the volume of 1,300 Olympic swimming pools.
It will operate for at least 60 years and should be capable of producing 7% of the UK’s electricity - enough for 5 million UK homes.
Early engagement begins with people near Hinkley Point
EDF Energy and British Energy, prior to the merger of the two companies, undertake a series of exhibitions in the local area to explain early plans for a new nuclear power station adjacent to the two existing Hinkley Point power stations.
Nomination of Hinkley Point C as potential site for new nuclear power station
Hinkley Point C was nominated amongst a number of other sites, as part of the Government’s Strategic Siting Assessment, most of which were later designated by the Government as being suitable for nuclear new build.
HPC Stage 1 formal consultation begins ‘Initial Proposals and Options’
The first formal stage of consultation for Hinkley Point C took place over nine weeks. The initial proposals were presented in a suite of consultation materials. This was the first time that a major nuclear project had undertaken its consultation under the Planning Act 2008 regime.
HPC Stage 2 formal consultation begins ‘Preferred Proposals’
The most detailed stage of formal consultation for Hinkley Point C took place over 12 weeks. The preferred proposals were presented in a suite of consultation materials.
Energy Skills Centre, Bridgwater College opens
The Secretary of State opened the Skills Centre project which EDF Energy committed £3m towards. The project aims to enable people and businesses in the local community to develop the skills they need to secure jobs and contracts at HPC. Hinkley Point C is one of the first major projects to make significant investments at an early stage in skills and education infrastructure.
HPC ‘Update on Stage 2 Preferred Proposals’ formal consultation begins
A supplementary stage of formal consultation following Stages 1 and 2, this took place over four weeks and was presented in a few key documents.
Early contracts awarded to South West firms
Contracts worth in excess of £9m had already been awarded to local firms at this early stage of the project.
Parliament ratified the National Policy Statement for nuclear, which includes the designation of suitable sites. Both Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C were nominated under the Strategic Siting Assessment process in 2009, which was followed by two separate periods of consultation by the Government. Eight sites were designated as being suitable for new nuclear overall.
HPC & Sizewell C designated as suitable sites for new nuclear
West Somerset Council approves HPC preparatory works
This permission, granted to EDF Energy to prepare its site for construction, meant Hinkley Point C was the first major infrastructure project under the current planning regime to have such early investment. The site works include fencing and site excavation as well as £30m worth of measures towards mitigating the impact of the project. Consent for the power station itself was received in March 2013.
These applications were required to build, commission, operate and decommission HPC. The Nuclear Site Licence application was submitted to the Office for Nuclear Regulation. The Radioactive Substances Regulation, Combustion Activity and Water Discharge Activity environmental permit applications were submitted to the Environment Agency.
Nuclear Site Licence and Environmental Permit applications submitted
HPC Development Consent Order application submitted
Consent to build a new power station requires a Development Consent Order (DCO) from the UK Planning Inspectorate and approval by the Secretary of State. The 55000 pages of detailed evidence produced as part of the application was unprecedented. The application was accepted by the Infrastructure Planning Commission on November 24th 2011.
Initial approval of EPR technology for UK use
Following a detailed four-year review by one of the most rigorous independent nuclear safety authorities in the world, this was a major milestone. The Office of Nuclear Regulation issued an Interim Design Acceptance Confirmation, and the Environment Agency issued an Interim Statement of Design Acceptability, for the EPR Pressurised Water Reactor. The design was fully approved a year later in 2012.
£30m community benefit package announced as part of HPC preparatory works
Following the decision in 2011 to grant permission for preparatory works, this agreement was signed with West Somerset Council to provide, amongst other things, support for local housing, leisure facilities, transport, and local ecology schemes.
£1.6m for West Somerset Community College to train young people
West Somerset Community College in Minehead received £1.6 million from EDF Energy to build new training facilities and deliver a range of new courses in order to open up training opportunities for young people, businesses and those seeking to develop new skills. This assists these young and local unemployed people to be prepared for the employment opportunities presented by Hinkley Point C. Find out about our Inspire educational programme.
Bridgwater college receives £2m for local skills development
Bridgwater College was given £2 million from EDF Energy to help students and local people secure new skills, training and jobs for Hinkley Point C and to create a legacy of engineering excellence across the South West.
Research shows nuclear revival could boost UK economy by £5billion a year
Figures from the Institute for Public Policy Research also suggested that rebuilding new nuclear energy capacity in the UK could create more than 32,000 additional jobs while giving a significant boost to annual exports. See the report. (Graph source: HM Government, BIS, Nuclear Industrial Strategy - The UK's Nuclear Future, 2013)
HPC Temporary Jetty given permission
The 500 metre-long jetty to be used during the construction of Hinkley Point C will allow significant volumes of construction materials to be delivered by sea, as part of EDF Energy's transport strategy of minimising traffic on local roads. One sea vessel alone avoids up to 250 heavy goods vehicles using the local road network. Permission was given by the Marine Management Organisation and Secretary of State.
The Commission presented its opinion to the UK Government, under Article 41 of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) Treaty, concluding that the proposed Hinkley Point C investment "fulfils the objectives of the Euratom Treaty and contributes to develop a sustainable national energy mix."
The European Commission states that HPC proposal fulfils objectives of Euratom treaty
£100m package of mitigation measures agreed with Local Authorities
The breakthrough settlement, between EDF Energy, West Somerset, Sedgemoor District and Somerset County Councils, agreed nearly £100 million for local communities to mitigate the impact of Hinkley Point C. This includes the £30m agreed for the preparatory works in Jan 2012. Within the Development Consent Order section 106, more than £64 million was agreed to be spent on supporting local communities and services such as education, training, transport and housing. Visit the community hub for more information on the latest activity.
‘Hinkley Ready’ and ‘Hinkley Enterprise’ schemes launched
A collaboration between EDF Energy and West Somerset Community College designed to help local students maximise opportunities from the new power station, two new Hinkley Point C training and skills projects were launched at the College at the official opening of its new facilities. Find out more about our Inspire programme for young people.
1000 Somerset firms sign up to compete for HPC contracts
In addition to the 1000 firms, £61 million worth of contracts were also already awarded by this stage across the south west. Find out how to become a supplier.
HPC’s sister site, Sizewell C, launches its first stage of formal consultation
The consultation took place over 11 weeks. The initial proposals were presented in a suite of consultation materials.
Hinkley Point C Nuclear Site Licence granted
This Site Licence was the first to be awarded for a new power station in the UK for 25 years. By granting the Site Licence, the UK’s independent nuclear regulator recognised that the new build organisation had developed the required management structure, plans and procedures needed for the construction, commissioning and operation of Hinkley Point C.
Regulators approve EPR nuclear reactor design for use in the UK
The UK EPR (Trademark) design application submitted jointly by EDF Energy and AREVA was the first to successfully complete a thorough examination process in the UK, known as a Generic Design Assessment, by the safety and environmental authorities. It was a major milestone for HPC and meant that there was a stable design before the beginning of construction.
These permits govern the rigorous control of emissions and discharges from the proposed power station to ensure that local people and the environment will be protected while the station supplies secure, affordable and clean energy for five million UK homes. The permits were issued following a rigorous decision making process by the Environment Agency started in Summer 2011 and which included extensive public consultation.
Three main environmental permits granted by the Environment Agency
Secretary of State approves construction of new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset
This decision followed three years of in-depth consultation with local communities and a year long examination by the UK Planning Inspectorate. The approval was met with wide political consensus in the House of Commons. The approval by the Secretary of State meant that Hinkley Point C is the first piece of national infrastructure on this scale to be approved under the new 2008 Planning Act.
Groundbreaking industrial relations agreements made for Hinkley Point C project
EDF Energy signed two important labour relations agreements with the GMB, UCATT, Unite and Prospect unions and the main civil engineering contractor Bouygues Laing O’Rourke which addressed the management of industrial relations, as well as pay and conditions. The agreements demonstrated a partnership approach between EDF Energy, unions and contractors and a joint commitment to the success of the proposed project.
Agreement on commercial terms for HPC
A big day for the project. Not only did EDF Group and the UK Government reach in principle an agreement on the key commercial terms for an investment contract of the planned Hinkley Point C power station, but confirmation was received that the project will benefit from the Government’s Infrastructure Guarantee Scheme. Also, letters of intent were signed with equity partners, key terms of the four main engineering and construction contracts were agreed, and broad terms for a Funded Decommissioning Programme were also agreed.
This followed the signing of similar agreements in June 2013 for civil workers, as well as an overarching agreement establishing the framework for industrial relations for the project. Together, the agreements play their part in EDF Energy's commitment to work together with unions and contractors to create a climate for positive industrial relations which promotes safety, quality and productivity.
Electrical and mechanical Trade Union agreements announced with GMB and Unite
This Act provides the legislative framework, including CfD’s needed, for delivering secure, affordable, low carbon energy including provisions for attracting investment needed to replace current generating capacity.
Energy Act receives Royal Assent
In October 2013, the UK Government submitted the State Aid notification for the Hinkley Point C investment contract to the European Commission following the announcement of the commercial agreement on key terms with EDF. The Commission made an Opening Decision on the case on 18 December 2013. The Commission undertook a four week consultation on the Opening Decision following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).
HPC State Aid consultation completed
Phase II preparatory works begin on site
At this phase of the project these works help to prepare the site ahead of the main construction following a final investment decision. These initial works include the construction of roundabouts, temporary construction roads and drainage works, all of which are reversible. Visit our community hub to see the planned works.
European Commission Approves HPC Agreements
The European Commission approved the agreements between EDF Group and the UK Government to build Hinkley Point C. Its decision followed a rigorous and detailed examination of the deal during a 12 month investigation by the European Commission. Here's a video of the announcement.
For more information see our statement.
To find out what’s currently happening with our main site and associated developments, keep in touch via our Community Hub