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Environment

By 2030, many of the UK’s existing power stations are expected to close and will need to be replaced to ensure there is enough electricity supply to meet the demands of homes and businesses.

Nuclear power will make a major contribution to the country’s requirement for secure, safe, low carbon nuclear energy, as part of a diverse energy mix.

The UK HPR1000 will be thoroughly assessed by the ONR and the Environment Agency to ensure it meets UK requirements for the management and use of natural resources (including water and other resources) and manages its overall impact on the environment.

All nuclear reactors produce some form of radioactive waste unavoidably which can be hazardous if it is not appropriately managed. The UK HPR1000 will produce used or ‘spent’ fuel and this will be managed in line with UK safety standards and UK Government policy on management of waste from new nuclear power stations. This will include a period of safe on-site storage followed by transfer to a proposed UK Geological Disposal Facility (GDF).

Specific environmental permits are required by operators so that they can build and operate a new nuclear power plant and the Environment Agency will decide if these permits should be issued and, if so, any conditions they will include. Operational permits include disposals and discharges of radioactive wastes, operation of standby generators and discharges of cooling water and liquid effluent. For further information on site-specific permitting, please see our Wider Context page.

We are required to submit detailed information on how we will manage spent fuel as part of the GDA and our proposals will be assessed by the ONR, the Environment Agency and RWM (a subsidiary of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, in charge of radioactive waste management). Our detailed plans for the interim management of spent fuel on site will be assessed within site specific permissions.