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08/02/17
12.00 pm

New Energy Minister’s visit to Somerset reaffirms importance of new nuclear projects to our future low carbon, sustainable energy mix.

The importance of nuclear and the huge benefits to technical education and local jobs for the Bridgwater area were reaffirmed yesterday when Jesse Norman, the new Energy Minister, visited Hinkley Point and Cannington Court training centre, near Bridgwater, Somerset for the first time.

During the visit the Minister toured the Hinkley Point B power station and the construction site for Hinkley Point C.

He also met apprentices and EDF Energy employees at both the Cannington Court training centre, and the Construction Skills and Innovation Centre.

Energy Minister, Jesse Norman said:

"The visit to Hinkley Point C construction project has been fascinating.

"This project heralds a new era of nuclear power generation in the UK, and coming here has given me a chance to see low-carbon energy driving local and national economic growth, attracting new businesses and creating high-skilled, well-paid jobs.

"These are all key goals of our new UK-wide Industrial Strategy."

Hinkley Point C nuclear power station will provide:

  • 25,000 jobs and apprenticeships during construction
  • An estimated 64% of the £18bn cost of construction to go to UK businesses
  • 900 permanent jobs once running; and
  • £40 million a year to the local economy

Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, EDF Energy’s Nuclear New Build Managing Director, said:

"The UK Government has placed its trust in us to deliver Hinkley Point C on time and on budget and this visit is an opportunity to show the Minister the significant progress we have made. We now have more than 1,000 workers on site, carrying out earthworks, building staff accommodation and constructing the jetty which will allow us to bring in many of our supplies by sea.

"Hinkley Point C is already achieving some of the aims of the Government’s industrial strategy by creating thousands of jobs and opportunities in the South West and by helping to secure the long-term future of the UK nuclear industry."

The Government is committed to ensuring the country has a secure low carbon energy supply. Hinkley Point C will be a critical part of that, and will inaugurate a new era of UK nuclear power - building on Britain’s strong nuclear legacy.

Currently, the UK has eight nuclear power stations which generate around 20% of power in the UK. Almost all of these existing power stations are due to close by 2030. This underlines why the Government is taking decisions now on how we will ensure we have sufficient and diverse supply fit for future generations.

Hinkley Point C will provide seven per cent of Britain’s electricity needs for sixty years. The Industrial Strategy Green paper released last week included plans for a radical overhaul of technical education to address its historical undervaluation in the UK and provide a credible alternative to the academic route for young people who choose not to go to university.

The strategy sets out plans to enable everyone to develop the skills they need to do the high-paid, higher-skilled jobs of the future.

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