New Hinkley Point Power Station

EDF Energy, the French electricity company, has said that it will construct a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. EDF plans to employ 5,000 construction workers, either directly or through contractors, on the site.Their task will be to move about 4 million cubic metres of material, then build the plant and its support infrastructure.

The company believes that about 50% of the workers will be locals, either working on the site or supplying it.

The plant should be operational in 2018. 900 people will be needed to run it, and the design lifetime is sixty years. The plant is based on the one being built in Flamanville, north -west France.

About 600 people signed up to meet some of EDF's procurement team on Tuesday 6th July 2010 at The Exchange in Bridgewater. The building only holds 150, so there will be two more meetings in the autumn.

On 6 July, EDF also launched a website ( www.hinkleysupplychain.co.uk ) run by the Somerset Chamber of Commerce, which gives information about the project for interested companies.

EDF will be launching a website for its other proposed nuclear station at Sizewell, for companies in Suffolk and Norfolk. It will soon put online a national database with the Nuclear Industry Association for suppliers outside those counties at www.nuclearsupplychain.com.

This is the first stage in the building of the new generation of 10 nuclear stations across the country.

EDF will use its existing French suppliers for most of the engineering contracts. The French have a prospering nuclear industry and their companies have the necessary expertise.

When successive British governments refused to commission more nuclear plants, giving unjustified priority to renewables, and making us more dependant on imported fossil fuels, our own nuclear expertise gradually disappeared.

Let us hope that Government leaves EDF to get on with it, without interference.

N.D., Jul 2010.

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