SOMERSET politicians and councillors have been given an exclusive tour of the Hinkley Point A and B power stations near Bridgwater.

The two stations both powered the nation with zero carbon electricity for decades but are now no longer generating.

On Tuesday, May 7, senior politicians, council officers and members of the Site Stakeholder Group, saw for themselves the work hundreds of skilled nuclear professionals are undertaking to decommission the two facilities.

Cllr Leigh Redman, Chair of the Hinkley Point Site Stakeholders Group (SSG) who facilitated the visit, said: "The SSG is part of the communication function between government and community.

"As independent Chair of the SSG, I am always keen to enable relevant people to be connected.

"The new administration at Somerset Council was not fully aware of the decommissioning program on site, so I worked with both stations to allow interested SSG members, the council executive and officers to see and hear about the work on site.

"Decommissioning is the start of the next phase for each site, the employment opportunities are huge.

"People forget that when C station starts producing there will still be more people working on Hinkley Point A and B.

"Decommissioning is a career for life.”

Hinkley Point A generated from 1960-2000, and over the course of its lifetime produced 103 terrawatt hours of electricity.

Now, Nuclear Restoration Services (NRS) is undertaking the process of decommissioning the site so it can eventually be cleared and returned to public use as planned.

HPA Site Director Mark Pitts started the visit with an overview of the decommissioning process and the challenges that come with it.

“It was a pleasure to welcome our visitors to Hinkley Point A and B power stations for a first-hand look at the decommissioning journey," he said.

"The visit offered valuable insights into decommissioning and highlighted the dedication of our skilled workforces, who play a crucial role in ensuring the safe and successful decommissioning of nuclear power plants.”

The visitors also toured Hinkley School, and visited the Magnox Intermediate Level Waste Encapsulation Plant (MILWEP) at HPA, which is a facility designed to safely store and manage radioactive waste generated during the decommissioning process.

At HPB the group met EDF Station Director Nicola Fauvel and were then given a site tour, including the chance to look at the site’s two reactors.

“Welcoming visitors with such an important part to play in our present and future, is always a pleasure," Nicola said.