Construction of a major new nuclear power station is to be sped up after a £170 million investment.
Additional funding to speed up preparations for Sizewell C in Suffolk has been announced by the
Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.
Last year, the UK Government committed to invest £700 million in Sizewell C which, subject to approval, could create 10,000 jobs at peak construction.
The project was proposed by a consortium of EDF Energy and China General Nuclear Power Group, which own 80% and 20% of the project respectively.
The investment will be used to prepare the site for construction, supply chain procurement, and hiring a workforce.
Seventy per cent of construction contracts will go to UK businesses, said the government.
Like Hinkley Point C in Somerset, Sizewell C will have two EPR reactors, generating 3.2GW of electricity.
At full capacity, it is hoped Sizewell C will provide power to the equivalent of six million homes over 60 years.
The government hopes to see up to 24GW of the UK’s power come from nuclear sources by 2050 – four times its current level.
The investment follows plans for new nuclear power plants in the UK to be built at an “unprecedented scale and pace” under Great British Nuclear (GBN).
It is understood the scheme is also a response to Russian president Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, which has impacted the energy sector. Millions from the Nuclear Fuel Fund is being channelled into new fuel production and manufacturing in a “move away from Russian fuel”.
Also, the UK Government wants to ensure up to a quarter of the UK’s electricity is from “homegrown nuclear energy” by 2050.
The Sizewell C investment should enable construction to start “as soon as possible”.
“Sizewell C represents the bridge between the ongoing construction of Hinkley Point C and our longer-term ambition to provide up to a quarter of the UK’s electricity from homegrown nuclear energy by 2050,” said energy security secretary, Grant Shapps.
“Our new nuclear fleet will provide clean, reliable, and abundant energy whilst driving down bills, boosting economic growth and ensure that the UK is never held to energy ransom by tyrants like Putin.”
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(Image credit: GOV.UK, via Wikimedia Commons)
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