Sizewell: EDF Energy reaffirms commitment to build n-plant on Suffolk coast

FRENCH owned power giant EDF Energy has reiterated its commitment to building a new nuclear plant on the Suffolk coast - regardless of who wins the race to the presidency in its native country.

Prospective candidate Fran�ois Hollande holds a narrow lead over the incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy, following the first round of elections in France.

Socialist Mr Hollande has already said that he will look to reduce his country’s reliance on nuclear energy from 75% to 50% by 2025 if he is elected.

This - coupled with German owned energy companies RWE and E.ON abandoning its nuclear projects in the UK - has led some to question whether French EDF might look to pull out of its projects, which includes hopes of building two reactors on the Suffolk coast at Sizewell.

But last night EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz said: “We are moving forward with our strong and credible new nuclear project, and remain committed to delivering the first new nuclear plants in the UK for 20 years.

“We believe that new nuclear is vital as part of the mix to meet the UK’s goals for climate change, security of supply and affordability.

“It is also a key part of the growth agenda, bringing billions of pounds of investment and thousands of jobs.”

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A spokesman for the Nuclear Industry Association said it was their understanding that EDF Energy were “fully committed” to Sizewell C and intended to follow the project through if the right investment framework is in place.

However environmental consultant Peter Wilkinson, who sits on the Sizewell A and B Stakeholder Group, raised doubts.

“Francois Hollande has already said that if he gets elected president he will reduce France’s dependency on nuclear from 75% to 50%,” he said. “I think if you look at that against the backdrop of E.ON and RWE pulling out of nuclear projects in the UK and Centrica making ominous noises in respect to Hinkley [where EDF plans to build the first of its new nuclear fleet] then there are still a lot of hurdles to over come. It’s far from certain.”

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