Ministers see progress at Hinkley Point C

27 January 2020

Ministers from the UK's Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) visited Hinkley Point C (HPC) on 23 January to see progress at the new nuclear power plant. HPC, under construction in Somerset, England, will be the first new nuclear power station to be built in the UK in almost 20 years and will provide about 7% of the country's electricity.

Kwasi Kwarteng, minister for business, energy and clean growth at HPC (Image: EDF Energy)

Under a deal agreed in October 2015, China General Nuclear took a 33.5% stake in EDF Energy's project to build two Areva-designed European Pressurised Reactors. Plans are advancing for a near identical station at Sizewell C in Suffolk, and EDF Energy has said the advantages of replication of the UK EPR design means it can be built and financed at a lower cost for consumers.

Kwasi Kwarteng, minister for business, energy and clean growth and Nadhim Zahawi, minister for business and industry met some of the 500 apprentices already hired by the project and saw the huge scale of construction under way in Somerset, EDF Energy said. Unit 1 is now being built above ground and the project’s next major milestone is completion of the base for unit 2, in June later this year.

"Today's visit was an invaluable opportunity to see how construction is progressing on this vast and important project. Hinkley Point C will provide clean energy for nearly six million homes as well as delivering thousands of jobs, and I look forward to seeing how it progresses in the months and years ahead," Zahawi said.

The ministers also visited Hinkley Point B power station which the previous week had hit a new record for low-carbon electricity production in the UK, passing 300 TWh - enough to continuously power every home in the UK for three years - that avoided the emission of 105 million tonnes of CO2.

They saw the National College for Nuclear in nearby Cannington, one of the many initiatives to increase UK skills. These include the opening of a national welding centre at Bridgwater College, due in the first half of 2020, EDF Energy said.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News