Hinkley Point C, the first new nuclear power station to be built in the UK in 20 years, will help avoid 9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year of its 60-year lifespan.
It will generate enough secure, affordable electricity to power more than 5 million homes – electricity that can replace other, higher-carbon energy sources.
EDF Energy currently owns and operates eight nuclear power stations in the UK: seven advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGRs) and one more modern pressurised water reactor (PWR) at Sizewell B.
Hinkley Point C will be a European pressurised reactor (UK-EPR): a reactor producing a total of 3.2GW of energy.
Sustainable by design
Sustainability won’t just be a side-effect of the low-carbon electricity Hinkley Point C will generate. Sustainability is at the heart of EDF Energy’s vision for new nuclear power in the UK.
We are confident the design of Hinkley Point C and the plans for its construction will meet the standards of BREEAM and CEEQUAL, the two main assessment organisations for sustainable building. The building materials and techniques have all been chosen carefully to limit carbon emissions. For example, the concrete tunnels used to divert a local stream and allow water storage, uses recycled blast-furnace slag as a low-carbon alternative to cement – our figures show that this has saved approximately 430 tonnes of cement and 380 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Instead of travelling miles by road to landfill, 15,000 cubic metres of soil displaced by the building of Cannington bypass, aimed to divert operational traffic around Cannington rather than through it, were moved to the farm next door, which we calculate avoided the equivalent of 24,000 road miles and 31 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
The construction project will also create employment opportunities in the local community both directly and indirectly. About 5,000 construction workers will be employed on site at peak. Their needs – including accommodation and catering – will be met by local businesses wherever possible.
It will be a while before Hinkley Point C is ready to start supplying the UK with low-carbon electricity. By integrating sustainability – in all its forms – at every stage of the project, from design to decommissioning, we’ve worked to maximise the positive impact this ground breaking project will have on the nation.