Office for Nuclear Regulation

This website uses non-intrusive cookies to improve your user experience. You can visit our cookie privacy page for more information.

Hinkley Point C progress

In March 2017, ONR granted its first consent for the start of construction of a twin EPR nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C.  The consent covers the placement of the structural concrete for the first nuclear safety-related structure, the ‘technical galleries’ at the Hinkley Point C site. The technical galleries are a series of underground reinforced concrete structures to be located beneath the site and some above-ground structures, connecting services such as cooling water and electricity.

Our regulation will continue throughout the construction process to permission other subsequent key stages of construction, leading to granting the final Licence Instrument (usually consent to commence operation).  

Background

In September 2016, following a comprehensive review of the Hinkley Point C project, and a revised agreement with EDF, the Government announced its decision to proceed with the first new nuclear power station for a generation.  This followed EDF Energy’s announcement of its final investment decision in July 2016.

In Spring 2015 NNB GenCo Ltd announced a pause to the overall programme for the Hinkley Point C Project until commercial progress could be made on the project.

NNB GenCo Ltd realigned its organisation with the aim of maintaining its core nuclear safety capability and securing continued compliance with the Nuclear Site Licence. ONR monitored the impact of the changes to NNB GenCo Ltd's organisation via the licensee's arrangements for compliance with Licence Condition 36 - Organisational Capability. During this period, ONR inspectors also continued to engage with NNB GenCo on its programme of activities related to preparation of the Hinkley Point C site specific safety case, the detailed design of the plant and the procurement of equipment.

On 19 March 2013 the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change granted NNB GenCo Ltd a Development Consent Order (DCO) to build and operate a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset.

On 26 November 2012, ONR granted NNB Generation Company Limited (NNB GenCo Ltd), a subsidiary of EDF Energy, a nuclear site licence to install and operate two EPR™ pressurised water reactors at Hinkley Point C in Somerset. The nuclear site licence, together with the Energy Act 2013:

In December 2012, ONR completed the Generic Design Assessment of the EDF and AREVA UKEPR™ and issued a Design Acceptance Confirmation (DAC). The DAC does not give a licensee permission to construct and operate a plant based upon the UKEPR™ design. However, ONR will take the DAC into consideration when assessing the adequacy of NNB GenCo Ltd's safety case for requesting permission to proceed with construction, commissioning and operation of the EPR™ units it is proposing to install at Hinkley Point C.

ONR regulates construction and installation of plant via a permissioning regime which requires a licensee to demonstrate, amongst other things, that it is capable of ensuring that the as-constructed/installed plant complies with the extant safety case and applicable UK safety standards. To this end ONR has developed an intervention strategy with objectives of:

ONR's interventions are designed around the following cornerstone themes: