A NUCLEAR power station has been given the green light to restart producing energy.

Hinkley Point B, near Bridgwater, was granted permission by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) to generate low carbon energy on Wednesday, March 17.

EDF took Hinkley Point B offline last year for detailed assessments of the graphite cores. Specialist teams revealed the graphite was "in exactly the same condition as the company had forecast".

And the past year, EDF has spent more than £3million upgrading the plant while the assessments have been completed on the graphite in the nuclear reactors.

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: Katie Vaiders and John Doyle of the site’s fuel route team on a walk about in the Hinkley Point B reactor hallKatie Vaiders and John Doyle of the site’s fuel route team on a walk about in the Hinkley Point B reactor hall

Peter Evans, station director of Hinkley Point B, said their purpose is helping Britain "achieve net zero".

“The approval to restart power generation, which has come after many months of physical works and technical assessments of our site, plant and nuclear reactors, is really positive news," he said.

“When I look back at the last 12 months it is incredible to think we have delivered a major inspection and maintenance programme and a thorough justification to restart the nuclear reactors, all as we grappled with a pandemic which has fundamentally changed the way we work.

“But we’ve done the work, proved our case and I’m thrilled that we can get back online and once again do what we do best.”

The company plans to run Hinkley’s two reactors for six months, pause for further inspections and, subject to ONR approval, generate power for a second six month period.

It’s expected the 12 months of operation will generate eight terrawatt hours of electricity, enough to power two million homes for a year.

Last November EDF announced that Hinkley Point B would operate no later than July 2022 before moving into the defuelling phase. This is expected to take a few years to complete and enable continued employment for many people at the station.

Ian Liddell-Grainger, MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, added: “Hinkley Point B has been part of the fabric of our community for decades so I'm delighted to see the station given permission to return to power.

"I would specifically like to thank the whole workforce at Hinkley who have clearly worked so hard during these extraordinary times to return this critical part of the UK's infrastructure to operation.

“There's much to celebrate at Hinkley Point B and I look forward to doing so in person as soon as I'm able.”