UK Government Issues Environmental Permits for Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station

The Environment Agency has issued three new environmental permits today to NNB Generation Company (Sizewell C) Limited for a new nuclear power station at Sizewell in Suffolk. The permits are required for the station to operate and will allow it to:

  • dispose of and discharge radioactive waste (radioactive substances activity permit)
  • operate standby power supply systems using diesel generators (combustion activity permit)
  • discharge returned abstracted seawater (from the cooling water system and 2 fish recovery and returns systems) and other liquid trade effluents (including treated sewage effluent) to the Greater Sizewell Bay – North Sea (water discharge activity permit)

NNB Generation Company (Sizewell C) Limited applied to the Environment Agency for three environmental permits in May 2020. The Environment Agency consulted on the application from July to October 2020 and on their proposed decision and draft permits from July to September 2022.

Each of the three permits is an important regulatory permission that the company requires to operate Sizewell C nuclear power station. They include the limits and conditions that the company needs to put in place to ensure high standards of environmental protection during commissioning, operation and decommissioning.

The company will need to continue to apply for a range of environmental permits relating to site investigation, construction works and for relevant “associated developments” such as workers’ accommodation.

The Environment Agency’s Sizewell C Project Manager, Simon Barlow, said:

Today’s decision to issue the three permits for these operational activities comes after 10 years of pre-application discussions, three years of technical assessments and two public consultations. In reaching this decision we carefully considered all the responses from a wide range of stakeholders in the local community, national organisations and statutory consultees.

I would like to thank everyone for contributing their evidence and views and attending our consultation events. We will continue our engagement with the local community as the company moves forward with its plans for construction of the nuclear power station.

The documents we are publishing today provide detailed explanations of our decisions, show how we have considered all the relevant factors and explain our reasoning. By granting these permits many years ahead of Sizewell C operating, we can positively influence the design, procurement, and commissioning of the power station, whilst also ensuring that people and the environment are protected.

The decision documents, a public summary and permits are available on the Environment Agency’s website.

If you would like to sign up for Environment Agency e-bulletins about the work and regulation of the Sizewell C project, contact

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