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Have your say on proposed change to permit conditions at Hinkley Point C

Posted on 10th May, 2023 in News

Original Article


Our proposed decision is that we should grant the permit variation for the water discharge activity. The limits and conditions attached to the permit will make sure that people and the environment are protected from water discharge under normal operation.

To reach our proposed decision, we considered relevant legislation, policy and guidance alongside responses to our initial consultation on the application.

Assessments were also carried out on habitats, sites of special scientific interest and the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

The existing permit regulates the operational water discharge activities from Hinkley Point C. These are discharges of non-radioactive liquid effluents and include:

  • returned cooling water from the turbine condensers
  • trade process effluents from the various plant systems (including those that maintain water purity and chemistry to keep the best operating conditions and maximise efficiency)
  • treated sewage effluent (from staff welfare facilities)

The draft varied permit will also now regulate returned seawater through a fish recovery and return system.

As a result of our assessment on the impact of the fish recovery and return system discharge, we propose including limits on volume, rate and the total biomass discharged from the fish recovery and return system outlet.

We propose removing all conditions (or parts of conditions) relating to the acoustic fish deterrent (AFD).

We have concluded that there would be no adverse effect on the integrity of the relevant European sites (in relation to pollution from regulated discharges to waters) if there is no AFD in place. This includes those sites functionally linked to the Severn Estuary.

We have also concluded that the proposed permit variation will not cause the current status of the  water bodies to deteriorate, nor prevent them from achieving their objectives.

The draft varied permit includes the requirement to use an additional operating technique and an improvement condition. It also includes two pre-operational conditions which need Environment Agency approval before the proposed power station can be commissioned or begin to operate.

This is to make sure that NNB Generation Company (Hinkley Point C) Limited builds and operates the proposed power station according to the commitments made in its permit application.

We intend to publish our final decision in summer 2023.

How to have your say

The Environment Agency has published its proposed decision, the draft permit and supporting assessments for consultation. If you have any comments send these by 25 May 2023. You can do this by:

Hinkley C consultation
Permit Support Centre – Water Quality Team
Quadrant 2
99 Parkway Avenue
Sheffield S9 4WF

For more advice on how to comment, please call 03708 506 506.

Please quote the application number EPR/HP3228XT/V005 in any correspondence.

The Environment Agency is also holding an online meeting with stakeholders to answer questions about the proposed decision on 10 May from 4pm to 5pm. If you would like to join the meeting please email HinkleyNuclear@environment-agency.gov.uk.


The Environment Agency is responsible for regulating environmental protection at nuclear sites, ensuring that people and the environment are properly protected.

NNB Generation Company (HPC) Limited needs environmental permits from us to cover the work and the controls that it needs to put into place for construction, commissioning, operation and decommissioning of any new power station.

For more about the Environment Agency and its regulatory role with Hinkley Point C visit  Hinkley Point: nuclear regulation.