Decision on new Sizewell C nuclear power station is delayed by six weeks

A decision on the new Sizewell C nuclear power plant will now be made on July 8

A decision on the new Sizewell C nuclear power plant will now be made on July 8 - Credit: EDF Energy

A decision on a new Suffolk nuclear power station has been delayed by six weeks to allow more time to consider all the information received about the plans. 

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced a new deadline of July 8 for the proposals for the new £20billion twin reactor. The original deadline was May 25. 

The delay follows BEIS seeking additional information on a number of issues in the plans from EDF - including transport, water and wildlife.

After the public examination of the scheme was told a permanent water supply for the development had not been secured, Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at BEIS, asked EDF what progress had been made on securing a permanent water supply and, if it failed, whether a temporary desalination plant for the construction period could be made permanent. 

EDF said it working with Northumbria Water to find a solution and was hopeful of having an answer later in the year. 

The developer is also liaising with East Suffolk Council and conservation body Natural England over a marsh harrier nest that was discovered by ornithologists at the site and whether this would have any implications for its application for the proposed geotechnical trials on land north of Sizewell B. 

Alison Downes, from Stop Sizewell C

Alison Downes, from Stop Sizewell C - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Alison Downes, of campaign group Stop Sizewell C, said: "This delay is down to the dozens of really difficult problems with the Sizewell C application - including water supply, transport, coastal erosion and biodiversity.  

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“More importantly it questions a major cornerstone of the government's Energy Security Strategy. 

“The dinosaur that is Sizewell C has already been 11 years in the making, and a lengthy construction is still some way off if it ever begins.  

“Especially in light of the failure of the Taishan EPR reactor, the government must stop this overpriced, lumbering project and focus on cheaper, faster, reliable alternatives that will cut energy costs and fight climate change." 

Humphrey Cadoux Hudson, Sizewell C managing director, said: "Just like our sister project in Somerset, Hinkley Point C, Sizewell C will deliver well-paid employment and a boost in education leaving a legacy of skills for the region for decades to come.”

A spokesperson for Sizewell C said: “We note the ministerial announcement that the planning decision for Sizewell C will be taken no later than 8 July 2022.   

“This extension is understandable given the breadth of information provided on the project following almost a decade of local consultation to deliver Suffolk’s new nuclear power station. We look forward to receiving their decision in due course.”