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EdF delays Hinkley nuclear decision until 2013

Energy firm EdF has deferred making its final investment decision on its proposed new power station at Hinkley Point C until early 2013, the firm confirmed today.

The had said it would make its decision over constructing the new nuclear power station in Somerset by the end of this year, but has now confirmed that this has been put back into the first quarter of 2013.

The announcement comes after EdF received approval for its nuclear reactor at the site today (see box).

When EdF took over British Energy in 2009 it had originally hope to begin generating power from a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in 2017. However this timescale slipped, with EdF last announcing it hoped to reach its final investment decision by the end of 2013.

Last month preferred contractor on the scheme Laing O’Rourke announced first nuclear concrete pour would not take place until 2015.

Nuclear reactor design approval

The Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has today approved nuclear reactor planned to be used at Hinkley Point C.

ONR has approved nuclear reactor firm Areva’s European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) following a five year licensing process - the generic design assessment (GDA).

The GDA is a four step licensing process covering all areas of non-site specific design from civil engineering to reactor chemistry.

ONR had granted interim design acceptance certificate - mostly covering the civils works - through the GDA last December with 31 outstanding issues.

Experts warned slow progress in closing out the issues in July may prevent completion before the end of the year as intended. But now all 31 have now been resolved and full design acceptance certificate has now been issued.

The confirmation comes at the end of a stringent assessment progress requiring 850,000 hours of engineering studies over four year.

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