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Sizewell C nuclear plant given green light by UK government

20 July 2022

The Sizewell C nuclear plant project application was granted development consent by the UK government on July 20. The application involves the construction of a new nuclear power station producing reliable, low-carbon electricity to help Britain achieve Net Zero. It is intended that Sizewell C will generate enough low-carbon electricity to supply six million homes.

Image: EDF
Image: EDF

The application was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for consideration by NNB Nuclear Generation (SZC) Limited on 27 May 2020 and accepted for Examination on 24 June 2020. Following an Examination during which the public, Statutory Consultees and Interested Parties were given the opportunity to give evidence to the Examining Authority, recommendations were made to the Secretary of State on 25 February 2022.

The Planning Inspectorate’s Chief Executive, Sarah Richards said: “This Examination took place during the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated restrictions and the Examining Authority worked hard to ensure that local people, the local authorities – East Suffolk District and Suffolk County Council - and other Interested Parties were able to fully participate. The Examining Authority listened and gave full consideration to local views and the evidence gathered during the Examination before making its recommendation.”

In a statement, EDF said the decision was the biggest milestone so far in the approval process for Sizewell C. It follows four rounds of public consultation which began in 2012 and involved more than 10,000 East Suffolk residents.

Carly Vince, Sizewell C’s Chief Planning Officer, said: “I am delighted that, after months of careful consideration, the Government has given planning consent for Sizewell C. It is a big endorsement of our proposals and supports our view that this is the right project in the right place. Sizewell C will be good for the region, creating thousands of opportunities for local people and businesses. It will boost local biodiversity and leave a legacy Suffolk can be proud of.”

Sizewell C is set to become one of the UK’s biggest net zero infrastructure projects. Negotiations with the Government on raising funds for the project are continuing and a Financial Investment Decision is expected in 2023. Last month, the Government announced that Sizewell C could be eligible for funding using the so-called Regulated Asset Base (RAB) scheme which will drive down the cost of the project to consumers.

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