Hinkley Point C is - at long last - to get the final go-ahead today

Hinkley Point C is – at long last – to get the final go-ahead today

The UK Government is to formally announce today that it has given the go-ahead for the construction of a new  £18,000,000,000,000 nuclear power station “Hinkley Point C”  – on the Somerset coast just 16 miles from Penarth.

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 and has been given go-ahead today . It will provide sufficient power for 6,000,000 homes.

The Hinkley Point Nuclear power station complex in Somerset - as seen from Penarth.

The Hinkley Point Nuclear power station complex in Somerset – as seen from Penarth.

Somerset County Council already has elaborate emergency planning procedures which would go into action in the event of an emergency involving any accidental release  of radioactive material – but it’s clear that Penarth and Cardiff fall well within the designated 15-40 km radius of what is described as “Zone Z”. Penarth is 24 kilometres from Hinkley Point.

A Somersert County Council map identifies the zones around the Kinkley Point site which come within its emergency planning procedures

A Somersert County Council map identifies the zones around the Hinkley Point site which come within its emergency planning procedures

The Vale of Glamorgan Council has published an International Nuclear Event Scale” on its website which would be “used for promptly making known to the public, in a standard way, the seriousness of events reported at nuclear sites. No countermeasures affecting the public would be likely below level 5. Examples: Chernobyl – Level 7; Three Mile Island – Level 5; Windscale Fire – Level 5.”

The Vale Council says: Although nuclear plants are designed to ensure that accidents affecting the public are highly unlikely it is prudent to have plans to deal with them. “

The council says that, when radioactive materials are released in an accident, people can be irradiated by breathing, by direct radiation from radioactive materials carried in the air and deposited on surfaces –  and by eating and drinking food and water containing radioactive materials.

Hinkley Point nuclear power station seen from Penarth

The Hinkley Point nuclear power station campus seen from Penarth

The basic council advice is stay indoors with windows closed – but evacuation is an option as it “avoids relatively high short-term exposures by taking people away from the affected area” and also recommends taking  iodine tablets. Somerset Council specifies this medication as  “Potassium Iodate Tablets”  – but says these would necessary only in the event of a serious radioactive emission from Hinkley B power station and in “downwind sectors”.  

The Vale Council web site says “radioactive material deposited on soil or grass finds its way into food through crops and animals. It might be necessary to ban milk or other foods containing too much radioactive material.”

Somerset Council says that in the event of a major accident “Food/Milk Control may be necessary out to 40 km [Penarth is 24 km away] and implemented by Food Standards Agency (FSA) with precautionary food safety advice followed by statutory restrictions.”


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Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
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  1. Christopher David says:

    Is there a credible alternative?

  2. Ivor Bagman says:

    Hang on – These negative
    Arguments were
    Thwarted in the 60’s.
    Big money needs
    Wind farms.
    There’s no profit
    In nuclear power.
    Yet it is the only
    Answer to generating electricity
    Economically !

  3. snoggerdog says:

    if they stand close enough they could be just glowing!

  4. Anne Greagsby says:

    The most expensive white elephant of a project in British history!

  5. Peter Church says:

    The is no alternative when its a foggy cold February day, import more French electricity.
    Ah don’t wont work cause they will need their power too. How about a big battery.

    Build a battery farm of Li-Ion cells, with a capacity of, lets see.
    217,000,000,000 Amp/Hours. enough to keep the UK on grid for an hour at peak demand!!
    and the size?
    217 times 10 metre Cubes to give the capacity (just one hour)
    Cost just over a billion pound for all 217 cubes at retail prices.

    I will order them from Maplins in Newport rd tomorrow.

    Otherwise its Nuclear or Gas/Coal

    • Jtr69 says:

      Home batteries are coming. Look up the Tesla Powerwall home battery, or indeed the new PowerCore by Solar-Ready. These batteries are being integrated by developers and housing associations. There is an energy revolution happening right now and the solar panels are now much more efficient and work just as well in the fog.

  6. Frank Evans says:

    Will this Chinese/french electricity still power my appliances, I hope it doesn’t cause my slow cooker to fill with snails schkewan, when all want is good one Welsh stew.

  7. Christopher David says:

    I’m advised that solar could be the answer in that huge solar farms placed in deserts around the world could supply all our power. One chap into energy here said you’d need a solar farm the size of wales to power (I think he meant ) Europe. Another problem is distribution and terrorism. I really don’t know if desert solar maybe do-able one day, but surely long term we have to progress from nuclear? Mr Church I think France has 59 nuclear stations- but electricity is till very expensive here. They’re also big on wind farms and as far as I can see these are a con (greased palms et al) and not efficient. They also chop up bats and birds. So question is do we NEED Hinckley – or not. Please don’t guess. Jtr how advanced is the stuff you talk of? Surely if it was that simple that’s the way Government and industry would be going! ?

    • Jtr69 says:

      There is an atomisation of the energy industry underway – and I mean don’t mean that in the nuclear sense. If you can bear it, it is worth watching The Elon Musk launch of the Tesla Powerwall home battery on YouTube. The technology for off-grid living is available right now. Why do you think that the oil price has tanked and the government is stalling over next-gen nuclear power.
      Nuclear power is impressive, but as we all know creates pure poison that we don’t know how to get rid of.

  8. Mgg says:

    Mr David what is this simplicity you speak,of ? And as for simplicity and government in the same sentence well I never ! I can’t think of any occasion govt or industry went for the simple sensible option. Instead of one that is more complex so costs more with a concomitant excessive cost to the customer and a disproportionate profit margin.

  9. Christopher David says:

    Oh thanks Mgg.

Comments are closed.