Sizewell C nuclear power station 'front-runner' for Government funding

Boris Johnson Sizewell C

A decision on the next nuclear plant to be built could be made before the end of the current parliament in May 2024 - Credit: EDF Energy/PA Wire

The proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast is a front-runner for Government funding before the 2024 election, it has been reported.

How Sizewell C with its twin reactors could look alongside plants A and B on Suffolk's coast

How Sizewell C with its twin reactors could look alongside plants A and B on Suffolk's coast - Credit: EDF ENERGY / SIZEWELL C

The funding could come as part of the Government’s Net Zero strategy, which is said to detail how the UK’s carbon emissions will be brought down to net zero by 2050, according to the Telegraph.

The Government has said nuclear has a "key role" to play to "build a strong, home-grown energy sector to further reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and exposure to volatile global gas prices".

It says it is looking to approve at least one more large-scale nuclear project in the next few years.

The EDF Energy and CGN-led project is expected to cost £18 billion, and would supply around six million homes with energy for around 60 years.

Mother-of-two, Alison Downes, who has now given up her full-time job to spearhead the campaign again

Alison Downes spearheads the campaign against Sizewell C with Stop Sizewell C - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

But Alison Downes, from Stop Sizewell C, said of the speculation: "We don't expect to see any significant change in government policy, except that the Prime Minister's love of big grandiose schemes means nuclear power is likely to 'bigged up' in the net zero strategy despite being unable to contribute to net zero before 2035.

"We may also find out just how much of our money he is prepared to throw away on a technology that will be obsolete before it is built."

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She added: "Sizewell C has several obstacles; it does not have planning consent, and may never get it, such are the problems with the project, the price tag is rising and every month that passes makes it look increasingly bad value compared to the tumbling cost of renewables, and the expected backlash from the public – especially those on green tariffs – who won't want to pay for it."

Sizewell C would benefit from the nearly identical already built Hinkley Point C plant.

Last week, EDF Energy set out £250m of financial contributions, known as the Deed of Obligation, designed to mitigate the impacts of the project, provide legacy benefits and compensate some of those affected.

Sizewell C protest PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

The RSPB and the Suffolk Wildlife Trust have both campaigned against the plans for Sizewell C citing the environmental damage it could do - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

And it has previously said Sizewell C will give the county’s economy a £125million a year boost and create 25,000 job opportunities during the 10-year construction period and 900 skilled jobs when the power plant is operational.

However, the RSPB and Suffolk Wildlife Trust remain united against Sizewell C after spending six months engaging in the examination.

If Sizewell C is built, it would sit on the border of RSPB Minsmere nature reserve, home to over 6,000 types of animals, plants and fungi.

In a statement, the groups said: "There remain significant concerns and our organisations believe that if the build goes ahead, there could be serious detrimental impacts on wildlife. EDF Energy are still proposing to destroy an area the size of eight football pitches at protected wildlife site, Sizewell Marshes SSSI."

Rare habitats would be very difficult to replace and there are concerns that a lack of high-quality water available for rare plants would mean they may die out over time.

The station’s cooling water system could also cause millions of fish and other small marine creatures to die each year, according to the Trust.

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