Hinkley Point

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The headland at Hinkley Point with the power stations visible in the background
Hinkley Point from the Quantock Hills

Hinkley Point is a headland on the Bristol Channel coast of Somerset, England, 5 miles (8 kilometres) north of Bridgwater and 5 mi (8 km) west of Burnham-on-Sea, close to the mouth of the River Parrett.

Excavations in 2014 and 2015, carried out by Cotswold Archaeology and funded by Electricité de France (EDF) in preparation for the construction of Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, discovered a farming settlement at the site dating from the Iron Age and then a post Roman cemetery.[1][2]

Hinkley Point adjoins the Bridgwater Bay (Site of Special Scientific Interest)[3] and nature reserve,[4] and is a popular location for birdwatching and fossil hunting. A visitor centre in the nearby town Bridgwater gives access to information, as well as running tours of the plant. There is also a nature trail which features plants, birds and butterflies.[5]

The exposed location of Hinkley Point meant that it was considered ideal for wind generation. However, a proposal to build 12 wind turbines close to the site of the nuclear power stations was turned down in October 2005.[6] The reason given by West Somerset District Council for the rejection was safety fears over what would happen were a turbine blade to detach and hit "something or somebody".[6]

Nuclear power stations[edit]

The landscape of Hinkley Point is dominated by two nuclear power stations:

Hinkley Point C[edit]

In 2008, the Blair Government announced its support for a third nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. Electricité de France (EDF) plan to build a power station consisting of two European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) units, called Hinkley Point C, subject to electricity pricing agreement with the government.[7][8] HMG said in 2008 that the new Hinkley Point and Sizewell C power stations would contribute 13% of UK electricity in the early 2020s.[7] While the initial constructor EDF was in critical financial trouble, contracts were signed to bring the China General Nuclear Power Group on board in September 2016.[9][10][11] Hinkley Point C is projected to use three million tonnes of concrete and 230,000 tonnes of steel reinforcements.[12] One of its claims to fame is that the project was as of 2020 "the most expensive nuclear power station in the world".[11]


  1. ^ "Archaeology at Hinkley Point". South West Heritage Trust. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  2. ^ "Hinkley Point C excavations unearth bones from the Dark Ages". BBC. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  3. ^ "Bridgwater Bay SSSI". Natural England. Retrieved 19 February 2007.
  4. ^ "Bridgwater Bay Natural Area". Natural England. Retrieved 19 February 2007.
  5. ^ "Hinkley Point Nature Trail to reopen". British Energy. Retrieved 19 February 2007.
  6. ^ a b "Wind turbine farm plans rejected". BBC News. 26 October 2005. Retrieved 19 February 2007.
  7. ^ a b "New dawn for UK nuclear power". WNN. 24 September 2008. Retrieved 25 September 2008.
  8. ^ Declan Lynch (18 April 2013). "EdF still undecided about Hinkley Point C go-ahead". New Civil Engineer. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  9. ^ Moylan, John. "Hinkley Point contract is signed". BBC. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  10. ^ Mason, Rowena (29 September 2016). "Hinkley Point: ministers sign go-ahead for nuclear power plant". Guardian. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  11. ^ a b Farage, Nigel (28 January 2020). "Of course Huawei is getting an easy ride. The British establishment has been bought up by China". Daily Telegraph.
  12. ^ Connolly, Jay (30 October 2018). "Major Project - Hinkley Point C". NRL Ltd. Retrieved 30 October 2018.

Coordinates: 51°12′29″N 3°07′45″W / 51.20806°N 3.12917°W / 51.20806; -3.12917