The UK government has denied plans for Sizewell C are currently under review, reiterating its commitment in supporting the acceleration of the nuclear industry.
This is contrary to reports that emerged from the BBC in which it was stated a “government official had disclosed that every major project was under review including Sizewell C”. It was reported that the primary reason behind this was to cut costs as the UK enters the bleak winter period amid the energy crisis.
Dispelling these reports, a government spokesperson told Current± that its position on the Sizewell C project “has not changed” and it will continue to support the development of the nuclear industry as a means to reach net zero.
“Our position on the Sizewell C project has not changed. It is crucial to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, increasing our energy security, and meeting our net zero ambitions with reliable clean energy,” the spokesperson said.
“We have made up to £700 million available for the deal, as part of the £1.7 billion for developing a large-scale nuclear project to the point of final investment decision in this Parliament.”
Current± reached out to EDF Energy for comment but received no response.
EDF is looking to develop the 3.2GW Sizewell C nuclear plant in Suffolk, and received £100 million of funding from the government to support the site in January 2022.
In May, the government unveiled £120 million in funding to support the development of new nuclear energy projects following plans to accelerate the rollout of nuclear power in the UK announced in the British Energy Security Strategy in April, when the government set a new target of up to 24GW by 2050.
It was said the Future Nuclear Enabling Fund would provide targeted, competitively allocated government grants designed to help new nuclear projects attract the private investment they require to reach commercialisation.
There is only one new nuclear plant in the UK currently under construction, EDF’s Hinkley Point C. At the site in Somerset, the French energy giant is constructing two reactors that will have a capacity of 3,260MWe when complete. It has been hit by numerous delays and cost increases however, with COVID-19 further straining the project.