Sizewell C has today applied to the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) for a nuclear site licence to construct and operate Suffolk’s planned new power station.
The ONR is responsible for the safe operation of nuclear sites in the UK and a nuclear site licence is one of the key regulatory requirements for building and operating a new power station.
The regulator will assess the suitability of the site to host the power station as well as the design of the proposed development. This includes a robust assessment of how the plant will withstand extreme weather and external hazards including seismic events and coastal flood hazards.
Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, Sizewell C Managing Director, said:
“This is another significant step forward for Sizewell C. The ONR holds the nuclear industry to account on behalf of the public and we welcome the robust scrutiny of our plans. We know the regulator will only award a nuclear site licence once it is satisfied that the power station will be safe throughout its entire lifecycle, including decommissioning, site clearance and remediation.”
Last week the Planning Inspectorate accepted the Sizewell C planning application for examination which will be carried out over a 15-18-month period. The nuclear site licence examination is anticipated to take a similar length of time to complete.
The ONR’s work will be informed by its previous examination of the site licence application for Sizewell C’s sister station Hinkley Point C which is under construction in Somerset. The nuclear site licence application for Hinkley Point C was submitted in July 2011 and approved in November 2012.
If Sizewell C is approved, a financial investment decision to build the power station could be taken at the end of 2021/early 2022 with construction getting underway soon afterwards.
Sizewell C can make a big contribution to a ‘Green Recovery’ by creating thousands of jobs and apprenticeships while helping to ensure the UK has the always-on low carbon electricity it needs for the future.
About Sizewell C:
Sizewell C will be an almost identical copy of Hinkley Point C which is being constructed in Somerset. Sizewell C has completed 8 years of public consultation and the proposals are currently being examined by the Planning Inspectorate before a recommendation is made to the Secretary of State. Sizewell C would generate enough low carbon power for 6million homes. It is expected to operate for 60 years and save 9 million tonnes of Co2 for every year of operation. There will be 25,000 job opportunities during the 10 year construction period and 900 skilled jobs when the power station is operational. The project will work with its supply chain to create 1,000 apprenticeships during its construction. Sizewell C is working with schools, colleges and other local education providers to ensure local people have access to skilled, long term sustainable careers.