The government is boosting its nuclear ambitions with a further £170m ploughed into delivering the Sizewell C power station.
This investment of previously allocated funding is intended to help prepare the site for future construction, according to the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero.
It will also go towards procuring “key components” from the project’s supply chain, and an expansion of its workforce.
Ministers are betting big on a new generation of nuclear power stations – the first in over 30 years – with a ‘fleet’ of new facilities.
At the peak of construction work, it’s claimed Sizewell C, in Suffolk, would support 10,000 jobs nationwide. Furthermore, the government says its plans for the supply chain would see 70% of the value of construction contracts going to UK businesses.
The money announced this week came just a few days after the government announced the launch of Great British Nuclear, a new body intended to oversee a “rapid expansion” of nuclear power in the UK.
Energy security secretary, Grant Shapps said: “Sizewell C represents the bridge between the ongoing construction of Hinkley Point C and our longer-term ambition to provide up to a quarter of the UK’s electricity from home-grown nuclear energy by 2050.
Our new nuclear fleet will provide clean, reliable, and abundant energy whilst driving down bills, boosting economic growth and ensure that the UK is never held to energy ransom by tyrants like Putin.”
According to the government, Sizewell C would provide “reliable, low carbon power” to the equivalent of six million homes over 60 years – saving the UK as many as 9m tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.
Like Hinkley Point C in Somerset, Sizewell C would consist of two reactors, generating a total of 3.2GW of electricity, equivalent to 7% of the UK’s electricity needs.
This new nuclear power station would help deliver the government’s ambition for up to 24GW of the UK’s power to come from nuclear sources by 2050 – four times the current level.
Nuclear and networks minister, Andrew Bowie said: “With government support, our nuclear industry will play a critical role in supplying cleaner, home-grown energy, and boost our energy security by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels from abroad.
“The steps we’re taking today will speed up the development of one of our biggest projects, Sizewell C, towards final approval, which would enable construction to start as soon as possible, supporting thousands of jobs for communities in Suffolk and across the country.”
In November 2022, the government established a £700 million investment scheme to fund Sizewell C’s continuing development.
The government hopes its measures announced this week will help to attract potential private investment in new nuclear projects.
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