The 3260MW Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset has just secured development consent from the Government as Energy Secretary Edward Davey has approved the plans prepared for NNB Generation Company – a subsidiary of EDF Energy.
One of the UK’s largest, it is the first nuclear power station to be approved in the UK since 1995, and will be located beside the existing Hinkley Point A and B stations.
The Hinkley Point site was nominated, and accepted on to the Government’s published list of potential sites for the new generation of nuclear power stations in 2009 after consideration by the DECC’s Strategic Siting Assessment.
A number of issues existed around the site, necessitating a particularly detailed and complex application – the largest ever handled by the Planning Inspectorate under the Planning Act 2008. The applications complexities were recognised in a statement regarding the approval made to the House of Commons. It was noted that there was a wide range of mitigational measures and controls particularly to reduce the impact of the construction work on local communities, but that on balance, the benefits of the project outweighed the impacts.
The Decision Letter from the Secretary of State notes the recommendations of the Panel appointed by the IPC to examine the application: “Given our conclusions on the merits of the case for the development proposed…we recommend that an Order granting development consent should be made.”
In approving the application, Mr Davey said “I am confident that the planning decision I have made is robust, evidence-based, compatible with the energy national policy statements and is in the best interests of the country.”
Once completed the two new nuclear reactors comprising the power station will be able to power 5,000,000 UK households and will create 20,000 to 25,000 jobs during construction, with 900 permanent jobs when it is operational.