The UK will proceed with the construction of a new nuclear power plant in Suffolk, England, the first government-backed nuclear installation in 35 years, as it seeks to lessen its impact on the climate problem and ensure energy independence.
The UK government’s support for the project was first stated during the chancellor’s fall statement earlier this month, and it was reiterated in a statement released on Tuesday by Grant Shapps, the department’s secretary for business and energy.
Because of Putin’s illegal march across Ukraine, gas prices around the world are at record highs. We require more domestically produced, clean, and reasonably priced energy for British homes, according to Shapps. This is made possible by the historic agreement signed today, which will support Sizewell C’s development and help us move away from the dangers associated with relying on uncertain international energy markets for our supplies.
Following the government’s first approval of the two-reactor Sizewell C nuclear power project in July under then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson, according to BBC News, the future of the facility was uncertain. Though the government denied it, there were reports that the project was being examined. According to The Guardian, it was problematic in part because the government had once considered obtaining funding from China General Nuclear, an idea that soured along with ties between the two nations.
The government will then support the new facility with a 700 million investment, Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt later declared in his fall statement, as The Guardian at the time reported. The announcement from Tuesday verified this investment. It represents the first direct government investment in a nuclear project since Sizewell B was approved in 1987 and signifies that China General Nuclear is no longer associated with the project.
The investment made in Sizewell C today is the biggest step we’ve taken toward achieving energy independence; it’s also the first governmental support for a nuclear project in more than 30 years. According to Hunt’s Tuesday statement, this massive project will supply clean, affordable, domestic energy to millions of homes once it is finished.
The French energy company EDF, which will construct the facility, will have a 50/50 ownership stake alongside the British government. In Somerset, England, EDF is also building the stalled Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant. The two facilities, according to EDF CEO Simone Rossi, will have the same design, so it should be simpler to estimate the costs and schedule for the second facility.
According to the government, the new facility would create 10,000 skilled jobs and provide enough low-carbon electricity to power six million homes for more than 50 years. According to The Guardian, its proposed 3.2 gigawatts of capacity would meet 10% of the UK’s current energy needs. And according to the government, this is just the beginning of a pipeline of new nuclear projects being created by a brand-new organization called Great British Nuclear.
Nuclear power is still problematic with environmental organizations despite being a low-carbon energy source because of its price and the issue of how to dispose of the waste. According to Doug Parr, the UK policy director for Greenpeace, there are more effective, quicker, and less expensive ways to supply electricity, as The Guardian noted.