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Addressing Britain’s net zero carbon energy future

Hinkley Point C Bridgwater, Somerset
Hinkley Point C hero

6 million

Homes will be powered by Hinkley Point C

2027

Expected start for electricity generation

22,000

People in Britain working on the project

The first nuclear power station to be built in the UK for over two decades, Hinkley Point C, will provide net zero carbon electricity for approximately 6 million homes.

Client

EDF Energy

Location

Bridgwater, Somerset

Service Lines

Hinkley Point C is one of the largest building projects in Europe and a huge part of futureproofing the UK’s energy portfolio.

With over 22,000 people now working on Hinkley Point C, it’s mission critical to maintain the highest standards.

Our specialist nuclear management business was appointed as the quality lead – and subsequently the safety report lead – on the preparation of the third version of the site-specific pre-construction safety report for the nuclear power station in Somerset.

The report is an integral part of justifying the safety of Hinkley Point C’s design throughout the plant’s lifecycle – from construction, installation and commissioning, through its full operating life and to end-of-life decommissioning. This includes the consideration of on-site spent fuel and radioactive waste management.

This clear intent by the government to increase our nuclear capabilities, with several new plants being constructed by the middle of the century, is something that should excite us all – it’s a great starting point for delivering a future-proofed energy portfolio for the UK.

Peter Sibley
Divisional Director, Nuclear, Hydrock

The third version of the site-specific pre-construction safety report, served to update the safety case to reflect the latest reference design for Hinkley Point C. It was one of the documents that was submitted in support of the application to obtain consent for the start of safety-related construction of the nuclear island at the heart of the plant.

The report included detailed information on:

  • Safety requirements and objectives
  • The site’s characteristics
  • An explanation of the principles
  • Codes and standards used in the design
  • The design and safety credentials of the structures
  • Systems and components involved in the installation
  • Various safety analyses, including those for both normal operation and accident conditions

As both the quality lead and the safety report lead, we’ve helped to define the safety case’s requirements and objectives and also advise on how to implement them. With responsibility for co-ordinating the production of a suite of safety documentation, we’re also managing the progress of the report through the safety clearance route, including its Independent Technical Assessment and review by the Nuclear Safety Committee.

Leading on the development of the safety strategy, we delivered briefings for key technical stakeholders and also supported technical teams with defining and refining the scope and direction of technical issues associated with the safety case.

A sustainable solution

Hinkley Point C will make a significant contribution to meeting Britain’s energy security strategy, targeting homegrown energy independence of up to 24GW by 2050.

Serving to revitalise our nuclear industry, the electricity generated by its two EPR reactors will offset 9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year, or 600 million tonnes over its 60-year lifespan.

Nuclear power plays an important role in the UK government’s commitment to supercharge clean energy and accelerate deployment, which could see 95% of Britain’s electricity set to be low-carbon by 2030.

Key challenges

One of the key challenges on this project has been maintaining the quality of the documentation produced by multiple authors. It’s involved balancing timely delivery, as well as protecting the agreed scope and objectives of the safety case from ‘mission creep’, whilst recognising and championing the inclusion of valid, important changes.

We’ve played a leading part in the team that successfully handled the delivery, review and acceptance of over 300 items of documentation to date. This has provided the cornerstone of a complete quality record and associated audit trail.

Our ability to explain the UK regulatory context to non-UK safety documentation authors unfamiliar with the UK approach, and provide them with support, has been essential to progress. It’s enabled us to make the best use of their significant knowledge and expertise whilst presenting their input in a way that’ll be meaningful and well understood – all of which has been critical to ensuring that we developed the safety case in the right direction.

Our work has ensured the ongoing development and delivery of the safety case required by the Hinkley Point C licensee, EDF NNB GenCo, on time, within cost and to the highest standards.

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