UK: Dry Fuel Store At Sizewell B Nuclear Power Station

Last Updated: 2 October 2013
Article by Paul Zyda

Dry Fuel Store At Sizewell B Nuclear Power StationThe UK's first Dry Fuel Store is currently under construction at Sizewell B nuclear power station, Leiston, Suffolk. Paul Zyda, a nuclear planning and environmental lawyer, describes the consenting journey and experiences gained in advising on this milestone project from initial design, to achievement of a grant by the Secretary of State of planning permission, and recent commencement of construction.

Sizewell B (SZB) is home to the most recently constructed nuclear power station in the UK. It is at the vanguard of UK nuclear power station design. The station will soon be home to the UK's first 'dry' store for spent nuclear fuel, the Dry Fuel Store (DFS) which received consent in July 2011 and is currently under construction. The DFS is required to enable the continued operation of SZB by making provision on site for the storage of spent nuclear fuel from 2015; the existing 'wet' storage facilities reach capacity soon after. Dry fuel storage is a mature technology, tried and tested all over the world. As part of this process the spent fuel is placed within a welded metal canister, cleaned and then placed within a large concrete cask. These casks are then stored in the DFS. The DFS will store spent nuclear fuel for the lifetime of the SZB power station, which is due to be decommissioned in 2035.

Section 36 Consent

In July 2011, the Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change granted a section 36 consent and deemed grant of planning permission for the DFS.

Impact on Amenity and Accessibility

During the application process, a concern raised by the local planning authority related to the potential impact of the DFS on the surrounding area. The DFS may be required to store spent fuel beyond the predicted timescale for the decommissioning of the Sizewell B site and thus the local area would have to wait longer to realise the benefits of a fully decommissioned and restored site, which is surrounded by an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty ('AONB').

To offset any potential impact caused by the delay of the release of the part of SZB EDF Energy, Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council entered into a legal agreement, to establish an Amenity and Accessibility Fund Group. The Fund, which we devised, is formed by officers from each Council, EDF and AONB representatives. The Fund Group identify projects to improve the amenity and accessibility of the AONB and Heritage Coast. EDF have made an initial payment to the Fund of £120,000, and will make 60 further annual payments to the fund of £20,000.

Projects that sought AAFG funding included, among others, works to improve the visual appearance of the area and to conserve and enhance the area's natural beauty. Some projects that were considered by the AAFG included a Virtual Tourism Information centre app by The Suffolk Coast Limited and a new nature trail through the Sizewell Hall wood for children and guests by the Sizewell Hall charity.

Moving from planning to construction

Having obtained planning permission, construction work could not commence until the local planning authority had approved various schemes and details submitted for approval under 16 planning conditions. These applications were drafted to comply with new European EIA law and were the first such applications in the UK! As part of the application process, EDF undertook public consultation. Suffolk Coastal District Council granted approval in July 2012.

Multi Stage (EIA) Consenting

As this was a UK first, there were several challenges along the road to commencement of construction including a need to secure approval for design changes. To achieve the necessary approval, EDF adopted a multi stage consenting process, which includes public consultation. The applications were supported by new or newly identifiable environmental information, consistent with the requirements of European and UK EIA Law. With approval of the design changes, EDF gave Suffolk Coastal District Council notice in January 2013, and soon after commenced the permitted preliminary works including site clearance, erection of temporary fencing and provision of a contractors' laydown area.

Highway Works

EDF have spent £192,000 on improving roads on the main highway access route between Yoxford and the Sizewell B station. The highway works have been carried out by Suffolk County Council and are designed to reduce potential vibration and noise impacts.

Main Development

The main development comprises the construction of the Dry Fuel Store and Component Store buildings. To enable EDF to undertake the main development two further multi-stage applications were submitted to the local planning authority, statutory consultees and members of the public. These final applications related to design changes and 'finish' of external materials. In July, Suffolk Coastal District Council granted approval and EDF is now preparing to commence the Main Development.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.