Regulator approves organisation’s ability to manage construction and operation

Hinkley C&Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station

EDF Energy has been awarded a licence to operate a nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point C taking the £10bn project a step closer to reality.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) granted EDF the licence today recognising it had built an organisation with the required organisation, management structure, plans and procedures needed to build and operate the plant.

Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, EDF Energy’s managing director of nuclear new build, said: “The award of a Nuclear Site Licence for Hinkley Point C is another crucial step forward as we ready ourselves to build the first new nuclear reactors in the UK for around 20 years, subject to our final investment decision.”

Mike Weightman, chief nuclear inspector, said: “NNB GenCo [EDF’s subsidiary for the project with Centrica] will now be required to comply with 36 conditions attached to a nuclear site licence. These conditions provide ONR with the necessary regulatory powers to ensure the protection of people and society from the hazards associated with such nuclear power generation.”

However, the firm is still yet to be granted planning permission to build the two reactors it is planning at the site. The Planning Inspectorate is due to make a recommendation to the secretary of state for energy before the end of the year.

Plus, the ONR and the Environment Agency are yet to grant design approval for the reactors, though this is also expected before the end of this year.