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EDF set to submit planning application for £16bn Sizewell C nuclear power plant

03 March 2020

EDF is finalising its formal planning application to build a new nuclear power station on the east coast of Suffolk in Sizewell, UK. According to The Telegraph, the French energy company will submit a Development Consent Order (DCO) in the next few weeks as part of the final stages in the planning process for the new £16 billion nuclear power station, Sizewell C.

Sizewell B reactor dome - Image: geograph.org.uk / Dave Croker
Sizewell B reactor dome - Image: geograph.org.uk / Dave Croker

If approved, Sizewell C will be a copy of the plant currently being built at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Both plants will include two EPR reactors and are also both backed by the China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN), a Chinese government-controlled energy company.

Sizewell C would be capable of generating 3,260MW of electricity, around 7% of the UK’s electricity and enough to power around six million homes. EDF is aiming to build Sizewell C more cheaply than Hinkley Point C by reusing the designs, supply chain, and skills.

In September 2019, EDF said Hinkley Point C would cost up to £2.9bn more than previously estimated due to challenging ground conditions at the site. This raises its estimate for the project, on the Somerset coast, to between £21.5bn and £22.5bn. EDF also said the risk of the project being late had risen.

While the cost overrun was not expected to hit UK consumers, it was possible that EDF’s announcement could affect its proposed plans for Sizewell C. There have been suggestions that funding for the new plant in Sizewell could be financed under a new model where consumers would see costs of construction added to their energy bills as the project went along.

Government funding for Sizewell C is yet to be announced.


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