A nuclear site licence for the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station has been awarded to developer EDF Energy.
The granting of the licence is recognition from the UK’s independent nuclear regulator that NNB GenCo, the new nuclear build subsidiary of EDF, has developed the required organisation, management structure, plans and procedures needed for the construction, commissioning and operation of the proposed new nuclear power station.
The conditions of the licence require the development, implementation and maintenance of adequate safety arrangements throughout the life of Hinkley C. The licence does not provide full permission for the construction of the power station and EDF will require a further consent from the ONR to start nuclear related construction under the terms of the licence. EDF also requires full planning consent for the project.
Having completed the examination of EDF’s application to build and operate a new nuclear power station at Hinkley in September, the Planning Inspectorate now has until December 21 to put forward its recommendation to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.
The announcement marks further progress as EDF readies itself to make the final investment decision for Hinkley Point C. The granting of a nuclear site license comes soon after an agreement with local councils to mitigate the impact of building the new power station and acknowledgement from regulators that the reactor design proposed for the project is on course to be approved for use in the UK this year. Hinkley C’s infrastructure project would be similar in scale to the London Olympics.
Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, EDF Energy’s managing director of Nuclear New Build, said: “The award of a nuclear site licence for Hinkley Point C is another crucial step forward as we ready ourselves to build the first new nuclear reactors in the UK for around 20 years, subject to our final investment decision.
“The licence serves as a vote of confidence in EDF Energy’s ability to deliver new nuclear. Following recent confirmation by the joint regulator that the EPR reactor design is on course for approval later this year, the award of the licence serves as further evidence of the strong momentum behind our new nuclear plans.
“The proposed new power station in Somerset will provide enough low carbon electricity to power five million homes and its construction will create around 25,000 jobs at the site alone, giving a real boost to the economy. However, there is still a great deal of work to be done before this project can become a reality. We remain focused on putting the components in place that will enable a final investment decision to be made at the earliest possible date.”