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Environmental permits issued for new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset

Comments received included those from organisations such as the Health Protection Agency and Natural England

The Environment Agency has issued three new environmental permits today to NNB Generation Company Limited (NNB GenCo) for their proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset.

NNB GenCo propose to build a twin reactor power station at Hinkley Point C using the EDF / Areva UK EPR design. Each of the UK EPR reactors would each generate 1600MW of electricity, enough in total to power about 5 million homes. The Environment Agency and the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) have already assessed the acceptability of the UK EPRTM reactor design in their Generic Design Assessment programme.

The ONR issued a nuclear licence for the site in November last year and the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change is currently considering whether a Development Consent Order for Hinkley Point C should be granted.

The permits are required for the station to operate and will allow it to:
  • Discharge and dispose of radioactive wastes;

  • Discharge cooling water and liquid effluents into the Bristol Channel; and

  • Operate standby power supply systems using diesel generators
The limits and conditions that the Environment Agency has set in the permits will ensure that people and the environment are properly protected.

Copies of documents including the Environment Agency’s Decision Documents are available on our website at the following link - www.environment-agency.gov.uk\hinkleypoint.

NNB GenCo’s permit applications were made to the Environment Agency in summer 2011. The decisions to issue the permits came after the Environment Agency had carefully considered all of the responses that it had received to both public consultations that it held on the applications, and on its draft decisions. Comments received included those from organisations such as the Health Protection Agency and Natural England, from other interested organisations, and from people living in the area of the proposed power station.

Brian Payne, the Environment Agency’s Hinkley Point C Project Manager, said
“The environmental permits we’ve issued for Hinkley Point C set limits and conditions that will ensure people and the environment will be properly protected. I’d like to thank all who responded to our public consultations. We’ve carefully considered all of the comments we received and the documents we are publishing today explain our decisions”.

Any media enquiries should be directed to the Environment Agency press office on 01392 442008