permits granted for new Hinkley Point station
environmental permits that enable the operation of a new nuclear
plant at Hinkley Point, near Burnham-On-Sea, have this week been
Environment Agency permits allow the discharge and disposal of
radioactive waste and cooling water and running of standby generators.
agency's Brian Payne said the permits would "ensure people
and the environment will be properly protected."
final planning decision on the station is expected later this
three permits set out strict levels and conditions for the emissions
and discharge from the power plant. It has taken 18 months and
a series of public consultations to get the permits approved.
water will be pumped in via underground tunnels 2-3km (1.2 to
1.8 miles) in length to cool the two nuclear reactors and then
back to the Bristol Channel. This water is expected to have low
levels of radioactivity.
other radioactive waste will also be processed and packaged on
site. Higher level radioactive waste will then be sent to a dedicated
waste management facility.
Energy project director for Hinkley Point C, Chris Bakken, said
the permits were an "important milestone". He
added: "Having the permits in place this early in the project
provides us with the clarity we need to build the processes, which
will underpin the highest standards of environmental performance
from the start."
government and EDF are in negotiations to agree a contract for
the guaranteed price the company will receive for the power it
generates. Even if the nuclear build gets permission, EDF would
still need to confirm its intention to build the power plant.