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GOV.UK: Proposed change to how Hinkley Point C stores radioactive waste

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Pressurised water reactors at Hinkley Point C will use uranium fuel to create heat and generate electricity when operating. Once used within the reactor, nuclear fuel will be stored on-site before being sent off-site to a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF).

NNB Generation Company (HPC) Limited was originally issued a radioactive substances environmental permit in 2013. In the original design radioactive waste was to be stored on-site in ‘wet storage’ – a method of submerging and storing in water.

The operator has now decided to change the technology by which it will store spent nuclear fuel, from wet storage to ‘dry storage’. Dry storage will see used nuclear fuel stored in sealed containers within a facility, before it is sent to the GDF. This means the operator now seeks to change its radioactive substances environmental permit to remove or amend specific conditions related to the previous wet storage technology that are no longer relevant.

The operator has said altering the storage method will not change the expected radiation dose to the general public from discharges or the wider environment, which remains incredibly small.

Separately, NNB Generation Company (HPC) Limited will be seeking the necessary changes to its Development Consent Order for Hinkley Point C in the autumn.

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