The UK Environment Agency has launched a consultation on the way used fuel will be stored at Hinkley Point C NPP under construction in Suffolk. The pressurised water reactors at Hinkley Point C will use uranium fuel which, once used, will be stored on-site before being sent off-site to a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF).

NNB Generation Company (HPC) Limited was originally issued a radioactive substances environmental permit in 2013. In the original design radioactive waste was to be stored on-site in wet storage – a pool in which the used fuel assemblies would be submerging and stored in water.

NNP has now decided to change the technology to dry storage, which will see used fuel stored in sealed containers within a facility, before it is sent to the GDF. This means the operator now seeks to change its radioactive substances environmental permit to remove or amend specific conditions related to the previous wet storage technology that are no longer relevant. NNB said altering the storage method will not change the expected radiation dose to the general public from discharges or the wider environment, which remains incredibly small.

Separately, NNB will be seeking the necessary changes to its Development Consent Order for Hinkley Point C in the autumn. The Environment Agency has launched a four-week public consultation and comments will be received until 14 August.