Sizewell C decision postponed

The decision whether or not to prosecute the Sizewell C nuclear power station has been postponed until early July.

The government was due to decide by May 25 whether to go ahead with the £20billion project. But in a written statement released Thursday, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Small Business Paul Scully said he was setting a “new deadline” of July 8 for the decision.

“This is to ensure that there is sufficient time to fully consider additional information provided by the applicant and interested parties in response to the Secretary of State’s post-review consultation,” he said. he adds.

The Suffolk-based project needs a development permission order before it can go ahead.

Charlotte Childs, national head of energy union GMB, said in response to the delay that the twin-unit plant is “essential” to meet the country’s energy needs.

“The UK’s nuclear program has been delayed too many times due to political decisions and we need confirmation for this essential project,” she added.

“Thousands of highly skilled workers are currently building Hinkley Point C or supplying components through its supply chain. There is a real risk that these jobs will be lost if there is no work program.

“This project is essential for jobs and skills, and for achieving our environmental goals – we need to be clear that there can be no net zero without new nuclear.”

Sizewell C could power the equivalent of around six million homes.

Uncertainty has plagued the project, despite repeated government promises to commit to nuclear power. Prime Minister Boris Johnson told BBC Radio Suffolk this month that the power station would be presented “as soon as possible”.

Seven of the UK’s eight nuclear power stations will be shut down by 2030. Currently, French state-owned EDF is building Hinkley Point C, which is expected to be operational by 2026.

In October 2021, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng presented new plans to fund the construction of nuclear power plants, which hinted that Sizewell C would go ahead. He followed up in January by announcing an initial government contribution of £100m to Sizewell C, with the aim of developing the project and boosting investor confidence.

In March, the government pledged to take a 20% stake in the project, which was to be matched by EDF.

Alice F. Ponder