EDF Energy – the French firm behind proposals for Sizewell C – has played down speculation that bosses have put off deciding whether to build a similar project in Somerset.

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The company, which is carrying out the first stage of consultation for two new reactors at Sizewell, near Leiston, said it planned to have all the components in place at Hinkley Point by about the end of the year to allow a final investment decision at the earliest possible date.

The announcement follows a claim that EDF had postponed its decision, following recent cost over-runs with construction of the same type of reactor in France, and that a decision was unlikely to be taken before April 2013, according to sources close to the project.

But a spokeswoman yesterday reiterated the firm’s plan to make a final investment decision possible by the end of 2012, saying: “EDF Energy plans to build two new nuclear reactors in Somerset.

“Our objective is to have all the components in place around the end of the year to allow a final investment decision at the earliest possible date.”

Consultation for the proposed reactors at Sizewell C was launched on November 21, and since then about 2,500 local people have attended exhibitions or visited the Sizewell C information office on Leiston High Street.

A community forum will be held from 7pm to 9pm on Thursday at Snape Maltings, with the next exhibition in Nacton on Friday.

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