Hinkley Point C: Building a legacy
6 November 2019
Technical Director, Hinkley Point C
Decarbonising the UK economy by moving away from gas and coal energy generation and towards a future powered by low carbon electricity is essential for the UK to tackle climate change.
Hinkley Point C, the new nuclear power station being built by EDF Energy and our partners, CGN, in Somerset, will produce low carbon electricity to meet 7% of UK need.
In June, the project reached its biggest milestone to date on schedule. The completion of the 49,000 tonne concrete base for the first of two reactors, known as “J-zero”, paved the way for the construction of the above ground structure to begin.
The pouring of the final 9,000 cubic metres of concrete was the largest single concrete pour in the UK, surpassing the record set when The Shard was built in London.
The on-time completion of the first reactor base is the clearest indicator yet that delivery of the project is on schedule, including for connection to the grid by the end of 2025.
It’s also an opportunity to take stock of the positive impact that Hinkley Point C is having locally.
The first new nuclear power station in the UK in a generation will create 25,000 job opportunities. Almost 4,500 people are now working on site, half of them from the local area giving a much-needed boost to the employment pipeline in the South West. The project will continue to provide long-term, well-paid jobs for local workers throughout the station’s 60 year operational lifetime.
Added to this, EDF Energy’s £15million investment in education and skills in the region is opening thousands of young people’s eyes to opportunities for work in the nuclear industry. More than 450 apprentices have been trained by the project out of a total 1,000, starting them on the path to highly skilled careers in construction and engineering.
The opening of the region’s new welding centre for excellence, a joint project between Hinkley Point C and its partners, including the local college, will help to address the national skills shortage within the industry. New low carbon generation projects across the UK will benefits from the next generation of welders trained at the centre.
And our commitment to supporting local industry means hundreds of businesses have already benefitted from the Hinkley Point C supply chain. Over £1billion worth of contracts have been awarded to firms from the region to date.
Hinkley Point C will leave a lasting legacy that will be felt by the local community long after construction has finished.