• Bradwell B

Frequently Asked Questions

Bradwell B basics

What is Bradwell B?

Bradwell B is a proposed new nuclear power station, which would be built at Bradwell-on-Sea in Essex.

Why has Bradwell been chosen?

The Bradwell B site was designated by the Government in 2011 as being potentially suitable for nuclear new build.

More information can be found here.

How long would it take to build Bradwell B?

Construction of Bradwell B would take between 9 and 12 years to complete – including works for the restoration of land used temporarily during construction.

How long would Bradwell B operate for?

At least 60 years.

Where would Bradwell B be built?

The Bradwell B site is to the south and east of the existing Bradwell power station, which closed in 2002 and is now being decommissioned. The site lies around 15km from Maldon, whilst the villages of Bradwell-on-Sea and Bradwell Waterside are located close to the site boundary to the south and west, respectively.

Isn't there already a power station at Bradwell?

The existing Bradwell power station is owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. It opened in 1963 and ended operation in 2002. The station was defuelled and entered “care & maintenance” status in December 2018. It will essentially remain as it is today for the next hundred years or so until it is fully decommissioned.

How much electricity would Bradwell B generate?

Bradwell B would have a capacity of 2.2GW when operational, which is enough electricity to power around four million homes.

What would Bradwell B consist of?

Two UK HPR1000 reactor units, comprising a reactor containment building, a turbine hall with electrical buildings and further plant; additional plant facilities and buildings housing equipment; cooling water infrastructure, including hybrid cooling towers; power transmission infrastructure, comprising an overhead connection to a substation; off-site facilities (e.g. emergency control centre, environmental survey laboratory and a mobile emergency equipment garage); fuel and interim waste storage facilities; offices and welfare facilities; and fencing & security facilities.

In addition, immediately outside the power station there would be: a primary and a secondary access road; car parking; sea defences; marine transport facilities; and a restored landscape.

How big is the main site?

The main development site, which includes the area that would be occupied permanently by the power station as well as the land that would be required temporarily to construct it, covers approximately 500 hectares. Within this, the permanent development footprint would occupy around 100 hectares. The remainder of the main development site would be restored after construction.

How will Bradwell B benefit the community?

The Bradwell B power station would bring high quality employment opportunities in construction, and in operation. There will be huge supply chain opportunities too, for a wide variety of businesses throughout Essex and the wider East of England region. To ensure that local people have the maximum opportunity to take advantage, we will be working with local partners to support and boost the skills and education sector, starting with creating 1,200 aprenticeships throughout construction.

About CGN and EDF

Who is developing Bradwell B?

CGN and EDF, both highly respected, global developers and operators of nuclear power stations around the world, are the partners who are proposing to build Bradwell B. During the development phase of Bradwell B, CGN has a 66.5% share and EDF Energy a 33.5% share.

More information can be found on EDF and CGN‘s respective websites.

Have EDF and CGN worked together before?

CGN and EDF have a longstanding partnership spanning 30 years. In the UK, CGN and EDF are developing plans for Sizewell C in Suffolk and building Hinkley Point C in Somerset. Most recently internationally, they have jointly constructed two reactors at Taishan in China, bringing direct benefits to their partnership in the UK.

What are the credentials of the companies behind this development?

Both CGN and EDF are highly respected, global developers and operators of nuclear power stations with excellent safety records. CGN is the largest constructor of nuclear power stations in the world, whilst EDF is the largest operator of nuclear power stations globally, including the operation of all existing nuclear power stations in the UK.

More information can be found on EDF and CGN‘s respective websites.

Community

What would be the impact on access to the beach?

When operational, Bradwell B would not limit access to the beach. It may be necessary to close sections of the footpath that runs along the top of the existing flood embankment and the beach during periods of construction for safety reasons. We would minimise restrictions on public access to these areas as far as practicable and would work with stakeholders to develop appropriate temporary diversion routes to mitigate any impacts.

Have the impacts on The Chapel of St Peter on the Wall and Othona Roman fort been considered?

Protecting the setting of the chapel and fort have been key considerations in the formulation of our plans and was a factor in the decision to site Bradwell B in the proposed location. We will continue to engage with the community as we develop our proposals.

Would the Bradwell Bay War Memorial be impacted?

The war memorial would remain in situ, following the recent restoration work that the Bradwell B team contributed towards. If it becomes apparent that temporary restrictions to access might be required for safety reasons during construction, we will engage with the community first. Additionally, we will look at ways to enhance its setting, in consultation with the community.

How would you manage disruption during construction?

There would be some disruption, but we are looking carefully at ways to minimise and manage this, for which input from the community will be key. We would do everything we can to protect the amenity of our neighbours and local communities around the site and along key transport routes.

More information can be found in our Previous Consultation materials.

How can a local charity or cause access your community fund?

CGN and EDF have committed to providing small grants to help local projects and we have partnered with Essex Community Foundation, who administer the fund of £10,000 on our behalf.

More information can be found on the Essex Community Foundation’s website here.

What is the Bradwell B Community Forum?

The Bradwell B Community Forum has been established for ongoing dialogue and discussion about the development of the Project between the developer, and local communities and organisations with an interest in the development of Bradwell B. The Forum, which is independently chaired, is a way to share and receive information throughout the planning, construction and operational phases of the new nuclear power station.

More information about the Community Forum can be found here.

Connecting to the electricity transmission network

How would Bradwell B connect to the electricity transmission network?

It is likely that new 400kV overhead lines would be required to connect Bradwell B. The new connection would be consulted upon by National Grid under a separate DCO process, and we would work with them to help communicate the proposals. We are in discussions with National Grid to agree this work, though no timetable is available as yet.

Consultation

Why are you consulting people?

Under the process to apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO), we are required to consult with people living in the vicinity of the development about how we would build Bradwell B. So far, we have conducted one stage of non-statutory consultation, with further consultation to follow.

More information can be found in our Statement of Community Consultation and on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.

What effect will feedback into the consultation have?

All formal responses to the consultation will be considered and used to inform the development of our proposals. We will then share our developed proposals and preferred options at future consultation, along with information on how feedback received has helped to shape our proposals.

What actions did you take to make sure that the Stage 1 consultation was effective, given that most of the planned events were cancelled?

So that the community had ample opportunity to review and comment on our stage one proposals, we extended the consultation by 5 weeks, and introduced additional ways to engage online and by phone, including: an interactive version of our main consultation document; a virtual public exhibition; and telephone surgery sessions. All consultation materials were, and continue to be, available here on our website and we mailed out the materials to anyone who requested them. Several communications, including the summary consultation document, newsletters and letters about site activities have been posted to over 50,000 homes and businesses closest to the main site and sites for associated development.

Will you be holding another consultation in the future?

Absolutely. We are currently considering the feedback submitted through our Stage One consultation, which will be used to inform the development of our proposals. We will then share our developed proposals and preferred options at further future consultation, along with information on how feedback received has helped to shape our proposals. We will extensively advertise this consultation ahead of launch.

Cost

How much would electricity from Bradwell B cost, and who would pay for it?

All forms of energy have to be paid for either by bill payers or taxpayers. At the moment we have not agreed a financing model for Bradwell B but we look forward to discussing it with the Government at the appropriate time, finding the right balance between the cost for the bill payer and the taxpayer for this crucial piece of national infrastructure.

How much would it cost to build Bradwell B?

The cost of building Bradwell B would be very significant, but with so many variables affecting the development of the project it is not possible at this early stage to provide an exact figure. These variables could include: design changes, or changes to the way that Bradwell B would be constructed as a result of surveys, consultation and regulatory decisions; the options we choose for transportation and worker accommodation; how the supply chain forms; decisions made on financing Bradwell B; and cost savings we identify from our experience of constructing the HPR1000 design at other sites.

Environment

How would Bradwell B affect the Blackwater Estuary?

It will not be possible to completely avoid impacts on the ecology of the estuary, although our initial proposals and options have all been identified in order to minimise the potential for adverse effects associated with the construction and operation of the power station. For example, we are proposing to use indirect cooling, which uses relatively low volumes of sea water circulated around the power station and cooling towers to evaporate heat. Indirect cooling significantly reduces the effects on marine ecology that direct cooling would cause because much less water is taken from and returned to the estuary – approximately one tenth compared to direct cooling, and a third compared to what the existing Bradwell station used to take.

We are continuing to engage with the community and relevant environmental and marine organisations in the development of our proposals in order to ensure any impacts are minimised.

More information can be found in our Previous Consultation materials.

How would the cooling towers look?

We have discounted use of ‘natural draft’ cooling towers often associated with coal fired power stations because of their massive scale (up to 180m in height) and because they give rise to highly visible plumes of water vapour. Instead we propose modern hybrid ‘low plume’ cooling towers, of which there are two types: circular or rectangular. Our current preference is for circular towers of between 50-60m in height because they are more efficient, occupy the least amount of land and give rise to the least visible plume.

More information can be found in our Previous Consultation materials.

How would you manage the ecological impacts around the site?

An important part of the application is how we plan to manage and mitigate the impacts on the environment. We are completing surveys in order to fully understand the ecology of the site and surrounding area. This will be used to inform a comprehensive mitigation strategy in order to avoid and minimise effects on wildlife as far as possible. The approach will be specific and appropriate to each of the species present. We will develop the details of the approach as we gain an understanding of the baseline conditions, in consultation with various interested stakeholders.

More information can be found in our Previous Consultation materials.

Nuclear Power

What is nuclear power?

Nuclear power uses nuclear reactions to generate heat, which is then used to create steam, which drives turbines to produce electricity.

Why do we need a nuclear power station?

  1. The Government projects that the UK’s electricity consumption will double by 2050.
  2. 20% of the UK’s generation capacity has closed since 2010. By the end of the decade, a further 35% of existing generation capacity will close, and so decisive action must be taken now to replace lost generation capacity and provide for predicted future needs.
  3. The UK is committed to achieving net zero carbon by 2050. Nuclear is low carbon and will play an increasingly important part in decarbonising our economy.
  4. Nuclear generation provides an important contribution to our baseload generation capacity that cannot readily and reliably be replaced by renewable sources (e.g. wind and solar).

More information can be found from the Government here.

Why can't we rely on renewables?

Whilst solar, wind and other renewable energy sources will play an important part in meeting the government’s goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, nuclear energy will be vital in meeting the UK’s baseload electricity needs. It is estimated that nuclear could provide 40% of the UK’s clean energy by 2050.

More information can be found here.

Is nuclear low carbon?

Nuclear power stations generate electricity without burning fuel. While construction, mining, fuel refinement and decommissioning do generate carbon emissions, these are very small in comparison to the amount of carbon free electricity generated by a plant’s 60+ year lifetime. Nuclear power has similar carbon footprint to renewable forms of electricity production.

More information can be found here.

Operation

How many jobs would Bradwell B create?

Tens of thousands of jobs would also be created during construction, with approximately 3,000 local jobs at peak.

In operation, Bradwell B would employ around 900 people. In addition during maintenance outages, which take place normally around every 18 months, an additional 1000 jobs would be needed in the supply chain.

Who would operate Bradwell B?

A decision has not yet been made on who would be the operator of Bradwell B.

Bradwell B would be operated by a UK-based operating company and would be subject to the robust, highly respected, UK nuclear regulatory regime.

Planning and Regulation

What is GDA?

Generic Design Assessment enables regulators to review the design of the reactor technology to ensure its acceptability in the UK. If it is accepted, it would be given the Design Acceptance Confirmation and Statement of Design Acceptability, by the regulators respectively and can be deployed in the UK. The design for CGN’s reactor, the UK HPR1000, is currently in Step 4 of four steps and is aimed for completion in early 2022.

The public can ask questions and make comment on the GDA by visiting the dedicated website.

More information from the Office for Nuclear Regulation can be found here.

What consents and permissions do you need to build a nuclear power station?

There are various permissions, consents and licenses needed to build a nuclear power station. These include:

  1. Planning permission, via a Development Consent Order (DCO), as granted by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
  2. Nuclear site licence from the Office for Nuclear Regulation and then various consents and permissions under the licence throughout construction, operation and decommissioning.
  3. Environmental permits from the Environment Agency.

More information can be found on the websites of the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency.

What planning permission do you need to build a nuclear power station?

As the project is considered a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, consent to build Bradwell B (plus the associated development including roads and worker accommodation) would be sought through a Development Consent Order (DCO) application. DCO applications are determined (approved or refused) by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who would be advised by the Planning Inspectorate.

More information can be found on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.

When will you apply for a DCO and when would it be granted, if successful?

After further consultation we would expect to be submitting our DCO application in a few years’ time. It would then take around 18 months from submission to a final decision.

Reactor technology

What technology would Bradwell B be using?

Bradwell B would be developed with a third-generation pressurised water reactor called the UK HPR1000, which is similar to the technology used at Sizewell B in Suffolk.

More information can be found here.

How safe is the technology?

Bradwell B would use one of the most modern, safe and efficient reactors in the world. It is a third-generation pressurised water reactor, which is an advanced version of the most widely used technology in most nuclear power stations around the world, including Sizewell B in Suffolk.

The UK HPR1000 is undergoing generic design assessment by the UK nuclear regulators, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the Environment Agency (EA) to confirm that the design meets the high standards of nuclear regulation in the UK.

Bradwell B would form part of a global fleet of HPR1000 nuclear plants; the first two units are already well advanced in their construction in China, and by the time BRB is online in the UK it is likely to be the 15th HPR1000 in the fleet.

More information can be found here.

Safety and Security

How will Bradwell B be protected against climate change and other hazards?

Bradwell B is being designed to withstand an extreme 1-in-10,000 severe weather event, including the anticipated effects of climate change, managing impacts of coastal erosion and fully considering the seismology of the site, including assessment of the risks and potential impacts of flooding resulting from earthquakes.

The UK nuclear regulators, the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency, must be satisfied that the protection against any hazarads are adequate.

What are you doing about emergency planning?

The Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2019 (REPPIR) ensure that members of the public are provided with information, both before and during an emergency. Under REPPIR, the site operator, local authority and emergency services have duties to ensure appropriate and adequate planning for emergencies. The Office for Nuclear Regulation must be satisfied with the adequacy of the emergency plans before Bradwell B can be built.

How will you keep the site secure?

The UK nuclear industry is one of the most robustly regulated industries in the world. Bradwell B will need to demonstrate to the Office for Nuclear Regulation that it has adequate arrangements in place to ensure that the site is secure during all construction phases, operation and decommissioning.

Supply Chain

How can we get work during construction?

A supply chain team and supply chain portal will be established, partnering local business groups and will assist local, regional and UK businesses in winning contracts for the supply of goods and services to deliver the Project. Some of the construction work will be very specialised, but many of the subcontracts will be accessible to established construction firms across the region and we will ensure these opportunities are maximised. We will be working with the local authorities, the Local Enterprise Partnership, chambers of commerce, and others to ensure businesses are aware of opportunities at the right time and can plan their capacity and investment.

Transport

How would you manage traffic impacts?

We would seek to minimise HGV traffic through use of sea transport to the greatest possible extent and aim for at least 50% of freight to be delivered to site by sea (supported by rail).

Worker traffic would be reduced through the use of Park & Ride and having a large proportion of the workforce using the project provided accommodation adjacent to site.

We have proposed significant highway interventions made up of a combination of upgrades to the existing highway network, localised highway realignments, bypasses around settlements and new off-line sections of highway.

More information can be found in our Previous Consultation materials.

Where would the Park & Ride facilities be?

Park & Ride would play an important role during the construction of the project intercepting workforce trips by car before getting to the roads close to site. Buses would then take workers to and from site. At our Stage One consultation we identified six search areas – not all would be developed.

More information can be found in our Previous Consultation materials.

Where would the freight management facilities be?

At our Stage One consultation we identified three areas of search for these facilities, which correspond with three of the park & ride search areas. All three are aligned to the highway strategic route options and are close enough to site to enable control of deliveries to site. Not all would be developed.

More information can be found in our Previous Consultation materials.

How could rail be used?

Rail freight forms an important part of our marine strategy in that freight can be taken by rail to muster ports where it will be loaded onto vessels for transportation to the construction site beach landing facilities.

Movement of workers by rail, supported by ‘rail and ride’ bus services provided by the Project will continue to be explored as part of our ongoing transport studies.

We are also considering whether the Southminster branch line could be used in the transport of construction materials, and are discussing this with Network Rail.

More information can be found in our Previous Consultation materials.

How would marine be used?

We recognise that the marine environment is highly sensitive and strongly protected. We have balanced this with the environmental constraints driving a sustainable transport solution for the project. Our preferred option of a beach landing facility/ies meets our construction needs and minimises the impact on the environment with only a small short open piled jetty or embankment needed to offload barges at low tide. We aim to deliver at least 50% of freight for the project via sea (supported by rail).

More information can be found in our Previous Consultation materials.

Waste and decommissioning

Who would pay to look after and dispose of waste?

Bradwell B, like all new nuclear build projects, would be required to have a funded decommissioning programme, which would accumulate funds from the price of electricity over the operational lifetime of the plant, to pay for the safe and secure decommissioning of the plant, and the storage and eventual disposal of higher activity waste and spent fuel.

More information from the Government can be found here.

What would happen to the waste?

Spent fuel and radioactive waste produced by Bradwell B would be managed in a manner that protects people and the environment and is in accordance with the relevant UK policy and legislation. They would be safely stored on-site in an interim spent fuel store, which would be designed for a life of at least 100 years and could be extended if necessary.

When available, a UK geological disposal facility would be used to dispose of spent fuel and higher activity waste. The Government-owned company, Radioactive Waste Management Limited (RWM) is currently consulting with stakeholders across England and Wales to determine a suitable site and community to host the facility.

Lower activity waste would be treated on-site, and after appropriate conditioning and packaging, it would be removed for disposal at appropriately permitted waste management facilities.

More information from the Government can be found here.

Workforce & Skills

How big would the construction workforce be?

At this early stage it is not possible to calculate the precise number of construction workers that would be needed. Our initial estimates indicate that the peak construction workforce could be between 9,100 to 10,600 workers.

More information can be found in our Previous Consultation materials.

How many jobs would be for local people?

We estimate that 3,000 construction jobs would be filled by local people, and there would be further opportunities created by local businesses benefitting from being part of the supply chain. We anticipate creating up to 1,200 apprenticeships during construction.

Local is defined as the area in which people are likely to travel from their homes to work – a 90-minute commute. The project will be working closely with local authorities and other relevant organisations to ensure that those living closer to the site will have access to the available opportunities wherever possible.

More information can be found in our Previous Consultation materials.

What provision are you making for worker accomodation?

We are developing an accomodation strategy for our workers that includes use of existing housing as well as accomodation provided directly by the project. Our aim is to achieve a balance; allowing a reasonable proportion of spare housing capacity to meet the demand from workers without displacing or pricing out local residents.

It is anticipated that Project-provided accommodation would be a combination of different types of accommodation at different stages of construction. In the early stages, such as site preparation and earthworks, we would provide hard-standing and services for touring caravans and static caravan site(s). As the workforce grows, we would build longer-term temporary accommodation in the form of multi-story campus style accommodation. Our current estimates are that at peak, across these forms of accommodation up to 4,500 bed spaces would be catered for.

More information can be found in our Previous Consultation materials.

How are you planning to improve the skills and education network so that the local community can take advantage of employment opportunities?

Throughout construction and operation, we will work with local education and training providers to develop and deliver an employment, skills and education strategy to enable local people to access jobs at BRB. Our first committment is to create 1,200 apprenticeships throughout the duration of construction.

More information can be found in our Previous Consultation materials.

More information about our plans for Bradwell B can be found on the Previous Consultation page of this website.

If you have any further questions, you can get in touch with us by:

Email: feedback@bradwellb.co.uk
Phone: 01621 451 451