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:
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.
In Spring 2015 NNB GenCo Ltd announced a pause to the overall programme for the Hinkley Point C Project and has reviewed its current activities to ensure that they are commensurate with the revised project plan. NNB GenCo is currently focussing its resources on activities which support preparation for start of construction. Thus, whilst NNB GenCo Ltd will continue to progress preparation of the Hinkley Point C site specific safety case and production of the detailed design, it does not intend at this stage to commence significant construction activity at the site until after commercial progress has been made on the project.
NNB GenCo Ltd is realigning its organisation to the revised programme with the aim of maintaining its core nuclear safety capability and securing continued compliance with the Nuclear Site Licence. ONR is monitoring the impact of the changes to NNB GenCo Ltd's organisation via the licensee's arrangements for compliance with Licence Condition 36 - Organisational Capability. ONR inspectors also continue to engage with NNB GenCo on its programme of activities related to preparation of the Hinkley Point Csite specific safety case, the detailed design of the plant and the procurement of equipment.
ONR inspectors continue to gather the intelligence required to inform its judgement on NNB GenCo Ltd's compliance with the nuclear site licence and also its response to any request from NNB GenCo Ltd for a consent to start construction of Hinkley Point C.