EDF has started the process to gain planning consent to build a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point C in Somerset.

EDF submitted a Development Consent Order to build and operate a 3260 MW plant to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) on 31 October 2011. The IPC, an independent body that examines applications for nationally significant infrastructure projects, must decide within 28 days whether to accept the application.

Speaking at the Nuclear Development Forum (NDF) on 27 October, EDF Energy’s CEO Vincent de Rivaz said: “My major target for now is the Final Investment Decision at the end of next year [2012].” De Rivaz listed three factors required for the investment decision: “transitional arrangements for the Contract for Difference, arrangements for the funded decommissioning plan, and a high level of confidence in the cost and timetable for construction.”

De Rivaz would not confirm a scheduled completion date for the plant. “At the moment of the FID I expect to be able to do so,” he said. De Rivaz has, however, said that there will be an: ‘adjusted timetable’ for the project, which had been touted to start-up by Christmas 2018.

Meanwhile, in separate new, Reuters reported last week that French bank Societe Generale predicts a two-years delay in the start-up of Britain’s first new-generation nuclear power plant, following rises in construction risks and costs.

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