Despite Hinkley Point C taking centre stage, it isn’t the only major new nuclear project the UK has to offer.
Hinkley Point C is an £18 billion, 3,200MW nuclear plant with enough power to supply roughly 7% of the UK’s energy needs.
During July French energy firm EDF, which has a majority stake (66.5%) in the plant, approved final investment for the project.
New SMR technology isn’t actually available in the UK yet, but experts predict that once it is, it will bring even more low-carbon energy into the mix
That news drew a collective sigh of relief from all those in the UK nuclear industry because Hinkley Point C will boost energy security, create thousands of jobs and usher in a new era of low-carbon power for the UK.
However, just hours after EDF gave the green light, the government stepped in and said it must “carefully consider” the project before backing it.
Experts from the nuclear industry think (or hope) it is just a way for the new-look Tory government to examine the project specifics.
Whatever the reasoning, it can’t leave the 25,000 people expecting to be employed at Hinkley Point C feeling too good.
Fortunately, Hinkley Point isn’t the only new nuclear plant scheduled to be built in the UK.
NuGen plans to build a 3.6GW plant on a 100 hectare plot of land in west Cumbria. Its Moorside project will consist of three Westinghouse AP1000 reactors and is expected to come online in 2024.
Meanwhile, Horizon Nuclear Power plans to build a 2,700MW plant next to the former Magnox Wylfa power station in Wales. Wylfa Newydd will consist of two UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactors.
Both projects are currently in the generic design assessment (GDA) phase, which all new nuclear projects in the UK must go through before being built and operated.
There are also plans to supplement major new nuclear projects with small modular reactors (SMR), as our latest cover story explains.
The SMR development programme, which was originally announced as part of the 2015 Autumn Statement, already has 33 bidders deemed eligible to take part.
New SMR technology isn’t actually available in the UK yet, but experts predict that once it is, it will bring even more low-carbon energy into the mix.