About Hinkley Point C

What is Hinkley Point C?

The first new nuclear power station to be built in the UK in over 20 years; Hinkley Point C in Somerset will provide low-carbon electricity for around 6 million homes, create thousands of jobs and bring lasting benefits to the UK economy.

Construction and operation of Hinkley Point C will create 25,000 employment opportunities, up to 1,000 apprenticeships and 64% of the project’s construction value is predicted to go to UK companies.

Marking a significant milestone in the revitalisation of our nuclear power industry, Hinkley Point C will make a major contribution to the UK’s move to reduce carbon emissions. The electricity generated by its two EPR reactors will offset 9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year, or 600 million tonnes over its 60-year lifespan.

Supporting the environment

Hinkley Point C’s contribution to fighting climate change means that during its 60 years of operation it will have a large, positive impact on the environment.

Sustainability and environmental protection are also key features in the construction itself. New techniques are being used whilst a team of environmental specialists are helping to enhance local biodiversity and habitats, supporting nature to thrive on land that had been intensively used in agriculture.

The reactor at Hinkley Point C

Hinkley Point C will be the first in a new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK. The planned twin unit UK EPR is capable of generating 3,260MW of secure, low carbon electricity for 60 years.

Proposed change to fish protection measures

We have made an application to the Secretary of State for a “material change” to the Hinkley Point C Development Consent Order granted in 2013 to remove the requirement to install an acoustic fish deterrent at Hinkley Point C.

Dredging mud in the Bristol Channel

As part of the construction of Hinkley Point C, we need to dredge mud and sediment from the seabed off the Hinkley Point C site ahead of the drilling of six vertical shafts for the cooling water system. The cooling water system is a significant piece of infrastructure, which involves tunnelling more than 3km out into the Bristol Channel.

Managing Spent Fuel at Hinkley Point C

Radioactive waste and spent fuel is produced as a result of electricity generation in nuclear power stations and from the use of radioactive material in industry, defence, medicine and scientific research.

Hinkley Point Visitor Centre

At our new Hinkley Point Visitor Centre, visitors are encouraged to explore how electricity is created in a fun and interactive way. People of all ages can learn why there is an overwhelming need to produce low carbon energy and how EDF is helping Britain achieve net zero through the construction of Hinkley Point C and the use of other renewable sources such as wind and solar power.

Frequently asked questions

How many power stations are you planning to build in the UK?

EDF and its partners currently plan to build two power stations in the UK each with two UK-EPR nuclear reactors. They will be at Hinkley Point in Somerset and Sizewell in Suffolk, subject to the relevant consents, permissions and the right investment framework.  We are also proposing to develop a new nuclear power station at Bradwell-on-Sea in Essex with the UK HPR1000 reactor technology, again subject to receipt of the relevant consents and permissions.

Will there be any further consultation on Hinkley Point C?

Formal consultation with the general public and statutory consultees was completed between 2009 and 2011, however we continue to actively engage with the wider community as part of our commitment to local and regional development. We produce regular updates and publications as well as holding community fora and meetings to provide updates and discuss our activities.

When did construction start?

In October 2013 we reached an in principal agreement with the UK Government on the key commercial terms for an investment contract for Hinkley Point C. In October 2014, the European Commission approved the agreements between EDF Group and the UK Government.

The final investment decision and the start of construction took place in the second half of 2016.

How can we visit the power station?

For more information about visiting Hinkley Point C, please call us on 0333 009 7070 or email hinkleypointtours@nnb-edfenergy.com.

How safe is Hinkley Point C?

Nuclear safety is our overriding priority and is at the forefront of what we do.  Our ambition is to achieve a ‘zero harm’ safety record.

As with all of our operational nuclear power stations across the UK, the design basis for Hinkley Point C ensures that the proposed plant is secure against natural hazards that have a frequency of less than one in 10,000 years. These hazards include tides, storm surges and tsunami as isolated and in-combination events.

To protect the Hinkley Point C station from such events, the platform level of the site is set at 14.0 metres above sea level, behind a sea wall with a crest level of 13.5 metres. Sea level rise which could result from future climate change has also been considered and an allowance has been made to cover the full 60 year operating lifetime of the new station.

Each of our nuclear site stages regular exercises to demonstrate to our regulator the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) that we have appropriate arrangements for dealing with an emergency. The exercises are performed against challenging scenarios agreed with the ONR, and also involve other regulatory bodies, the emergency services, local authorities and central Government.

How will you deal with the waste from Hinkley Point C?

The new EPR™ reactor design marks significant progress towards sustainability. The reactor has been designed to optimise the use of nuclear fuel and to minimise the production of long-lived high-level radioactive wastes. Thanks to its large core, surrounded by a neutron reflector, a maximum number of neutrons contribute to energy generation in the core. This means that the EPR™ reactor uses less uranium and produces less long-lived radioactive wastes compared with water reactors in operation today.

The UK needs to deliver a long-term solution for all its radioactive waste, past and future and not just from the civil nuclear industry but from other industries as well. The UK Government’s solution is the construction of a geological storage facility. The Government’s Managing Radioactive Waste Safely programme is currently working to identify a suitable site for a geological disposal facility to house the UK’s spent fuel and intermediate level waste safely and securely.

As a developer of new nuclear power stations, we will play our part by putting in place robust plans to manage the waste and spent fuel that we produce, by decommissioning our plants responsibly and by setting aside adequate funds for these plans. For these reasons, we have established a Funded Decommissioning Programme and are proud to take full responsibility for our power station from beginning to end.

To read frequently asked questions regarding the community and local area, please visit Hinkley Point C in the local community.

Contact us

The best way to contact us about Hinkley Point C is by completing our online enquiry form. You can also call us on 0333 009 7070 (24 hour free phone number).

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