Whitecroft Lighting goes nuclear at Hinkley Point C

Whitecroft Lighting, a UK commercial lighting manufacturer, has secured a landmark contract to supply 40,000 low-energy LED lights to the nation’s newest nuclear power station, Hinkley Point C, in Somerset.

Whitecroft Lighting says that it is the first supplier to have its LED lighting system approved for use in the UK nuclear industry. After six years of research, collaboration and customised testing, the Greater Manchester-based company has designed and manufactured a unique LED lighting system.

Although high-quality, energy efficient LED lighting has become the new standard across most industries in the UK, the nuclear industry still mainly uses traditional fluorescent lighting.

LED technology needed to be approved for the UK nuclear industry. Working with EDF, Whitecroft had to test the lighting and supporting electronics to ensure it could operate in areas containing radiation and higher-than-normal heat levels.

As part of the construction of Hinkley Point C, EDF was keen to find a UK lighting manufacturer that could make an LED work in this environment, with Whitecroft developing the ideal solution, supported by the Hinkley Point Supply Chain. Following extensive work undertaken by Whitecroft’s specialist research and development team, LEDs can now be specified for Hinkley Point C and future nuclear projects. Around 40,000 LED luminaires will eventually be installed across 90% of the Hinkley Point C estate, in a broad range of buildings and facilities, including some specialist environments such as the power generation halls.

Tony Male, Whitecroft Lighting’s Regional Sales Manager Wales and West says, “The unique nuclear-approved LED luminaires manufactured for the project will be around 40% more energy efficient than traditional fluorescent lighting, and the 40,000 LED luminaires supplied will save around 11,200KWh each day, or the equivalent of the power needed to run around 3,000 average family sized homes.”

Tony adds, “Some obvious potential candidates include Sizewell C in Suffolk, which will be a close copy of Hinkley Point C and will benefit from many of the same components.

“There will also hopefully be opportunities to collaborate with the much-talked-about ‘mini’ or ‘modular’ nuclear power stations currently being proposed as the next step in transitioning away from fossil fuel-dependent energy generation.”

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