HINKLEY Point B has contributed to a major milestone in the UK's nuclear energy production.

The Somerset station has generated enough power to meet the electricity needs of every home in the South West for more than 32 years, since it started generating power in 1976.

And earlier this month, it was confirmed that Hinkley, along with the rest of the UK nuclear fleet, had generated a total of 2000terrawatt hours of power.

That is enough to meet the electricity needs of every home in the UK for more than 18 years.

Hinkley Point B station director, Peter Evans, said: "Since this power station came online in 1976, we have played a massive part in providing the nation with low carbon electricity.

"When you add up what the fleet together has achieved, the sheer amount of electricity generated becomes difficult to comprehend.

“But if you look at what we, at Hinkley, have added to that total it’s something we should all be very proud of.

"Our total would have met the electricity needs of the South West for decades, of every home in the country for almost three years and we’ve helped the UK avoid the emission of more than 106m tonnes of carbon dioxide.

“When you start looking at the statistics these numbers are so big and so impressive they can become a little overwhelming.

"So instead of the big numbers, I like to think of all the hard work, innovation and determination of the staff here who have made this station the single most productive nuclear plant this country has ever had.

"I also think of the amazing team we have had, and still have, at Hinkley Point B which has run this plant so effectively and efficiently for so long. I think of all that and it makes me enormously proud to be a part of this power station’s life.”

Bridgwater Mercury: Katie Vaiders and John Doyle of the site’s fuel route team on a walk about in the Hinkley Point B reactor hall

EDF’s nuclear business employs more than 5,000 people across sites in Lancashire, Teesside, East Lothian, East Kilbride, West Kilbride, Suffolk, Kent, Somerset and Gloucestershire.

Each year, the nuclear business spends more than £800m through its supply chain, 93% of which is spent with UK companies, and since taking over the nuclear fleet in 2009 it has invested over £6bn in the plants.