New nuclear reactor gets the green light

GOVERNMENT PLANS to press ahead with a new nuclear power reactor have been welcomed by a Suffolk MP.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne pledged Britain would have a series of new nuclear power stations by 2018 during an interview yesterday.

This gives the green light for a new reactor at Sizewell power station, near Leiston, which is set to bring up to 5,000 construction jobs into the area and bring the number of people employed at the plant up to 700.

Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey said: “I think it is good news for local people so I’m very happy to hear it’s going to get the green light and we can get on and solve the energy security problem.

“It will be good for local businesses as well so I’m glad that the decision has been taken.” The expansion of Hinkley Point power station in Somerset is likely to take place first.

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But formal consultation on Sizewell C is due to start in the first half of 2011 and the reactor is likely to be up and running shortly after Hinkley Point goes into operation in 2018.

A spokesperson for EDF Energy, which runs the plant, said: “We were pleased to hear the Energy Minister underline the coalition Government’s commitment to build new nuclear power stations as part of the UK’s low-carbon energy mix for the future.”

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Suffolk Coastal District Council said: “Any decision on a new Sizewell plant must take into account local impacts in terms of design and detailed location, and the capacity of the local community and environment to absorb development of this scale.”

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