Construction of a major new nuclear power station is to be sped up after a £341 million investment.
Yet more 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.
Then, in July this year, it announced a further £170 million, bringing the current total to more than £1.2 billion.
“This is great news and puts us in an even stronger position to start full construction,” said Sizewell C company joint managing director, Julia Pyke. “It will also allow us to implement several community schemes over the next few months.”
The investment will be used to prepare the site for construction, supply chain procurement, and hiring a workforce, as well as training facilities for 1,500 apprenticeships, and further development of the plant’s engineering design.
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”, the government has said.
Pyke added: “We want people living near Sizewell C to see the benefits of the project as soon as possible and we’re looking forward to getting started on a range of proposals which will bring real improvements to the area well before the main construction gets underway.”
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(Image credit: GOV.UK, via Wikimedia Commons)
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