London — EDF Energy is spending GBP300 million ($388.9 million) a month on the construction of the 3.2-GW Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant that it is building with its equity partner China General Nuclear Corp. in western England, a company executive said at a London webinar Oct. 20.
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Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, managing director, nuclear new build at EDF Energy, was speaking at a webinar on the future development of the UK nuclear power industry organized by the Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum.
He said that EDF Energy had been spending this amount monthly on Hinkley Point C "since 2018" and intended to continue at the same rate of monthly expenditure until the plant's completion.
The two EPR Hinkley Point C plant in western England is currently scheduled to start operations during 2025. The plant is 66.5% owned by EDF Energy and 33.5% owned by CGN.
First power from the plant was initially scheduled to take place in late 2017. However, the company said in a July 7, 2017 statement that it has continued to reference recently since the start of the coronavirus pandemic that there could be an additional delay of 15 months for Hinkley Point C-1 and nine months for Hinkley Point C-2
Hinkley Point C has a current total construction cost of around GBP22.5 billion.
There are now 4,000 workers onsite at Hinkley Point C, up from around 2,000 at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK in March, Cadoux-Hudson told the webinar. He added that the company would be "ramping up" to 7,000 workers on site as the construction progressed.
The "single most important thing to do [to reduce nuclear construction costs] is to make a copy of Hinkley at Sizewell, to make a series of copies," the EDF Energy executive also said.
Sizewell C is a proposed 3.2-GW two EPR plant that EDF Energy and CGN would like to build in eastern England, exactly identical in design and construction to Hinkley Point C. EDF Energy owns 80% of this project and CGN 20%.
Also with respect to the cost of nuclear construction, Cadoux-Hudson noted that "We need to look very hard at how we can reduce the cost of finance" in such construction.