A decision to build two more nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point – just 16 miles across the Bristol Channel from Penarth – has been deferred until next month.
There are already two existing nuclear power stations on the same site.
- “Hinkley Point A” is an old Magnox station built in the early sixties which no longer produces power and is the process of being decommissioned.
- “Hinkley Point B” is a so-called “second generation” Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactor which is currently in operation. Building work began on this station in 1967 and it began feeding power to the National Grid in 1976 .
- “Hinkley Point C” is the new double-reactor station which the French energy company EDF won planning approval to build in 2013 . It was said at the time to be large enough to power 5,000,000 homes – a figure since modified to 6,000,000 homes.
Hinkley Point C will have two “European Pressurised Reactors” built by the French company Areva [PDN Note: no connection with Arriva Trains] which claims to be the world’s largest nuclear power company . Because of its two reactors Hinkley Point C will be two power stations in one.
This new £18bn power station – seen as crucial to the UK’s energy future – had been expected to be given the go-ahead at an EDF Energy board meeting yesterday but the company has to find £12bn to fund its share of the Hinkley project . EDF is said to be still in funding-discussions with its biggest shareholder – the French government.
EDF would have a 66.5% stake in Hinkley after selling off 33.5% to a Chinese partner – the China General Nuclear Power Corporation.