Hinkley Point B generated more clean power and saved more carbon than any other plant in British history
Hinkley Point B nuclear power station, the most productive clean energy asset in UK history, was switched off at 10am this morning. In 46 years of service, the Somerset plant has produced 311 TWh of low-carbon electricity, enough to power every home in the South-West for 33 years. The plant was originally expected to run for 25 years, but thanks to the ingenuity of its engineers, it was able to operate successfully for another 21 years.
That record power output means Hinkley Point B has saved 107 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions since it began generation in 1976. No other British power source has saved so much. That carbon is worth £8.3 billion at today’s carbon price, a colossal environmental saving, especially when compared to a construction cost of £1.68 billion.
Hinkley has been a cornerstone of the Somerset and wider South-West economy, providing around 500 skilled jobs to full time staff on site, and supporting more than 200 jobs with contractors. Millions of pounds have been invested in the local community, which will continue as the station enters defueling.
Hinkley Point C is currently under construction on a site adjacent to Hinkley B and when completed will power 6 million homes with low-carbon electricity.
In reaction to Hinkley Point B moving into defueling, Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said:
“Hinkley Point B is the most productive clean power asset in British history. No other station has saved more CO2 emissions and made a bigger contribution to fighting climate change. It has been a bastion of energy security for over four and half decades and its retirement is a stark reminder that we urgently need to replace our existing capacity.
“The dedicated staff who have helped keep homes in the South West warm and light for 46 years, deserve our gratitude. As the current energy crisis demonstrates, without nuclear the cost of the electricity we rely on is higher and leaves us reliant on burning imported fossil fuels. That’s why we need new nuclear.”
Notes to editors
- With Hinkley Point B’s retirement, the UK now has five generating nuclear power stations, providing around 16% of the country’s electricity from 5.9 GW of capacity.
- Two further stations will retire by March 2024, and all but one will retire by March 2028.
- Hinkley Point B’s overall carbon dioxide emissions saving used
- When compared to output from gas powered CCGT, Hinkley Point B is estimated to have saved the 107 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. At a carbon price of £76.89 that is worth £8.3 billion.
- More than 1.36 billion cubic metres of natural gas would be required to replace the electricity output of Hinkley Point B since July 2021.
- The estimated £1.68 billion construction cost reflects what the station would cost in today’s price, using the Bank of England’s inflation calculator.
- Nuclear has saved the UK 2.3 billion tonnes of carbon emissions, far more than any other source. The saving is equivalent to all UK emissions from 2015 through 2020.
About the Nuclear Industry Association
As the trade association for the civil nuclear industry in the UK, the Nuclear Industry Association represents more than 250 companies across the UK’s nuclear supply chain.
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