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Nuclear licence granted for Hinkley Point C

Energy firm EdF has been granted a nuclear licence from the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) yesterday for its proposed plant at Hinkley Point C.

ONR’s approval - the first since 1987 - is part a series of regulatory and financial hurdles EdF needs to clear before it can begin construction on its new plant in Somerset. EdF obtained the nuclear site license yesterday after applying in July 2011. Prior to this the company was in early engagement with the ONR. The entire process took 3 years, required 60 staff and has cost the firm £8M to date.

The firm was must now comply with 36 conditions attached the site licence to build its planned to build two European Pressurised Water Reactors (EPR) at Hinkley Point C.

EdF must also finalise the EPR’s generic design assessment, gain planning consent from the energy secretary, as well as make its final investment decision before beginning construction on site.

The licence will come into effect on 3 December 2012.

“Granting a nuclear site licence enhances our regulatory control of the activities associated with designing and construction nuclear facilities,” said chief nuclear inspector Mike Weightman. “[EdF] will now be required to comply with the necessary regulatory powers to ensure the protection of people and society from the hazards associated with such nuclear power generation.”

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