The UK Government and EDF Group have reached a commercial agreement for the proposed construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point, Somerset. Negotiations between the government and EDF have been ongoing and a “strike price”, for which EDF will be paid for each megawatt of electricity produced every hour, has now been agreed upon.
The nuclear power plant will cost £16bn and will generate electricity for almost 6 million homes and create 25,000 jobs during construction and 900 full-time jobs when completed. The construction of the nuclear power station will also contribute to much lower annual CO2 emissions, helping the UK to meet climate targets.
Hinkley Point C will be situated next to Hinkley Point A and B and will be made up of two nuclear reactors. The construction of the reactors will be staggered and the first will become fully operational by 2023. The land will need to be flattened and then the sea wall will be built. After this, excavation work can start to lay the foundations of the nuclear plant including two underground two-mile (3km) tunnels for the cooling water.The other aspects of the build include the turbine halls, standby power generators and a pumping station for the cooling water, interim waste storage facilities as well as a visitors' centre.
Paul Zyda, nuclear planning expert, welcomes the UK Government’s commitment to new nuclear generation saying: “In our opinion, nuclear is an appropriate low carbon contributor towards the UK’s future energy needs. It will greatly assist security of supply and in reducing carbon emissions.”