PLANS for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point have taken a step forward with preparatory work beginning this month.

The Mercury has reported that French firm EDF Energy wants to build two new reactors at Hinkley Point, in a move which could create 350 permanent jobs and up to 4,000 short-term jobs during construction.

EDF last week announced that investigative works on land at Hinkley Point and in the Severn Estuary should get underway this autumn and winter, and will help the firm prepare for submitting a planning application for a new power station.

The on-shore work will include excavating around 70 archaeological trenches and carrying out borehole investigations to learn about the local geology.

Offshore, survey works in the Severn Estuary will be carried out to find the best location for water cooling intake and outlet tunnels for the potential new power plant.

EDF consultants are also working on plans to refurbish Combwich Wharf, to allow large equipment for the new build to be delivered via the estuary.

Simon Dunford, EDF Energy's project manager for the proposed Hinkley Point C station, said: “We will endeavour to cause as little disruption as possible and will report back on our findings in future public consultations on our proposals for the site.”

For more information call 01278-444600.

THE existing Hinkley Point A and B power stations have bought mobile vehicle activated signs to alert passing motorists of their speed in a bid to make roads safer.

The signs will be put up in Stogursey, Nether Stowey, Fiddington, Holford, Kilve, Cannington and Wembdon for periods of two weeks every four months in the next year.