How many power stations are you planning to build in the UK?
EDF Energy 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?
The Hinkley Point visitor centre, located in Angel Place Shopping Centre in Bridgwater, is open for you to visit between 09.00 and 16.00 Monday to Friday, 09.00 - 13.00 on Saturdays. If you would like to book a tour of Hinkley Point B power station or for more information please contact the Visitor Centre by either telephone or e-mail.
Telephone: 0800 0969650
Occasional public tours of the Hinkley Point C site can also be arranged through the Hinkley Point visitor centre in Bridgwater, where you can find lots more information about the project. As part of the development of Hinkley Point C we are also planning to build a new public information centre near the main site.
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.