UK green lights €35bn nuclear plant

By Mike Hayes22 August 2022

The outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given approval for the construction of two new nuclear reactors in England, known as Sizewell C.

Image of the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station in the UK. (Photo: EDF)

The political green light should now enable the raising of private funding for the project, which is expected to cost as much as €35.5 billion.

It has been reported that the government could also fund up to 20% of the project, having already invested almost €120 million in its development.

A government spokeswoman said “commercially sensitive discussions” were ongoing regarding the development of the plant, but did add that, “Nuclear power has a key role to play as we work to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and exposure to volatile global gas prices.”

French state energy firm EDF has been involved in the early stages of development of the project, along with the Chinese contractor CGN. However, the UK government is reported to be looking to oust the Chinese firm from the project, citing security concerns.

The UK’s nuclear regulator has already approved the design of the reactor proposed by EDF, which says construction of the 3.2GW station will employ 900 people, as well as delivering thousands more jobs once commissioned.

Currently, the neighbouring Sizewell A plant is being decommissioned, while Sizewell B is operational.

If Sizewell C does proceed to construction, it is not expected to be delivering energy for a decade.

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