Energy Secretary Chris Huhne today visited Hinkley Point in Somerset, the site of EDF Energy’s proposed new nuclear power station.
His trip to the site comes as the government’s consultation on Energy National Policy Statements ends today.
Mr Huhne said: “A new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point has the potential to make an important contribution to the UK’s future low carbon, secure energy supplies.
“I’ve been impressed with the level of public engagement from the communities around all eight of the sites assessed by the government as potentially suitable for new nuclear power. The consultation period ends today. Ministers will now consider all responses before putting a final list to Parliament for approval, after which companies like EDF Energy will be able to come forward with formal planning applications.”
He said it was “important that local communities benefit from energy projects” and added that he was “encouraged to see EDF Energy’s support for Bridgwater College’s new Energy Skills Centre”.
The government’s consultation on the Energy National Policy Statements has attracted more than 1,500 responses from people across the country. Eight sites were listed as being potentially suitable for the deployment of new nuclear power stations by 2025: Bradwell, Hartlepool, Heysham, Hinkley Point, Oldbury, Sizewell, Sellafield, and Wylfa.
Ministers will consider the consultation responses before putting a final list to Parliament for approval.When considering applications to build nuclear power stations on the listed sites regard must be had to the guidance set out in the National Policy Statements.
Hinkley Point already has two existing power stations.
Last year, EDF’s Nuclear New Build director of planning Richard Mason said there was “inherent support” among the Somerset community for the company’s new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point.