EDF Gets Environmental Permit for First U.K Reactor in 20 Years

Electricite de France SA won environmental permits for its planned atomic power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset, which will be the first new reactor to be built in Britain in more than two decades.

EDF obtained the three main permits required from the U.K. Environment Agency, the company said today in a statement. They govern control of emissions, cooling water and liquid waste discharges from the Hinkley Point C plant, as well as safe disposal of small amounts of low-level radioactive waste.

The world’s biggest nuclear operator is nearing an investment decision on new reactors as the U.K. seeks to replace aging plants. The French utility and the government are negotiating how much EDF will earn for power from the new reactors in southern England, which are set to provide 7 percent of the country’s electricity needs for at least 60 years.

The government must decide by March 19 whether to grant planning permission for the project. EDF said in a report released this month that the venture, which expects to create 25,000 new jobs during its construction, is ‘shovel ready’.

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