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EDF submits planning application for Sizewell C nuclear power plant

27 May 2020

EDF said on May 27 that it had submitted a development consent order (DCO) to the UK’s Planning Inspectorate after the process was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic in March. If plans are approved, Sizewell C will power around 6 millions homes and create around 25,000 jobs during construction.

Image: EDF
Image: EDF

EDF had intended to submit a DCO in March, however the decision was taken to defer it by two months due to the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic, the energy company said in a statement. Extra measures will be put in place to make it easier for local communities to scrutinise the proposals once they are published. These include extending the pre-examination period to allow more time for interested parties to register with the Planning Inspectorate.

Located on the coast of Suffolk in the east of England, Sizewell C will employ 900 people once fully operational. Up to 70% of the construction value will be spent with firms across the UK, including in the East of England, Wales, and in the North.

To lower costs, Sizewell C will re-use the designs for Hinkley Point C in Somerset, south west England. Using the same design means Sizewell C will benefit from significantly reduced construction costs and lower risk.

The application for a DCO follows four rounds of public consultation which began in 2012. More than 10,000 residents and organisations in Suffolk have contributed their views and helped shape the final proposals. Some residents have raised concerns after EDF submitted the DCO while lockdown measures are still in place, preventing any public gatherings for locals to discuss the project. EDF said it would introduce new measures so that locals would be able to scrutinise its plans.

Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson CBE, Managing Director, Sizewell C said: “Sizewell C is a net zero infrastructure project ready to kick-start the economy following the Coronavirus crisis. It will offer thousands of high-quality job opportunities and long-term employment for people living in Suffolk and it will strengthen the nuclear supply chain across the country. On top of the economic benefits, Sizewell C will avoid 9 million tonnes of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere each year. The project will play a key role in lowering emissions while helping the UK keep control of its low carbon future.” 

EDF plans to fund the Sizewell C project through a method that would see the company paid during construction of the plant. The method would see costs of construction added to energy bills as the project went along, possibly decreasing development risk and lowering the final cost for consumers. However, critics believe that if the project was to be delayed or over-run as the Hinckley Point C project has, then the taxpayer would be left with paying the extra cost.

EDF hopes to complete the Development Consent Order process for the 3.2GW project within the next 18 months.


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