Construction of the Sizewell C nuclear power station could start “as soon as possible” after the government invested £170m to speed up preparation work.

The money, which was confirmed by ministers today (24 July), will be used to prepare the Suffolk site for construction, procure key components, and expand its workforce.

At the peak of construction, Sizewell C could support 10,000 jobs nationwide, with plans for 70% of the value of construction contracts to go to UK businesses.

The new plant, which will be built next to Sizewell B, will use two European pressurised water reactors (EPRs) for a 3.2GW capacity, equivalent to 7% of the UK’s electricity needs. The same EPR design is being used at Hinkley Point C in Somerset.

It could provide reliable, low-carbon power to the equivalent of 6m homes over 60 years, saving up to 9m tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

The investment of previously allocated funding for development work follows the launch of Great British Nuclear (GBN), which the government said will oversee “rapid expansion of nuclear power in the UK, which will help grow the economy, drive down bills and boost the country’s energy security”. GBN will support large-scale projects, such as Sizewell C and Hinkley Point C, as well as emerging nuclear technologies.

Nuclear minister Andrew Bowie said: “With government support, our nuclear industry will play a critical role in supplying cleaner, homegrown 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.”

Sizewell C could 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.

Extracted from IMeche website, read more here

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