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UK government might scrap Sizewell nuclear plan

A new nuclear power plant in Suffolk is under review and could be delayed or even axed, as the government tries to cut spending, the BBC has been told. Sizewell C was expected to provide up to 7% of the UK’s total
electricity needs, but critics have argued it will be expensive and take years to build. A new high speed rail line in the north of England could also be axed.

“We are reviewing every major project – including Sizewell C,” a government official told the BBC. The government is due to unveil its tax and spending plans under new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the Autumn
Statement on 17 November. Negotiations on raising funds for Sizewell C are understood to be ongoing. It is not expected to begin generating electricity until the 2030s. A Treasury spokesperson said delivering
infrastructure projects was “a priority”.

There was confusion on Thursday as executives at the French energy contractor EDF – already building a new plant at Hinkley in Somerset – and the Business and Energy department seemed blindsided by a potential change in tack on existing government policy, which promises to press ahead with both large and smaller scale nuclear projects. “As far we know, it’s still on”, said one nuclear industry executive close to the matter. New large-scale nuclear plants have been a key part of a government strategy to help reduce the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels. Boris Johnson whilst PM declared it was his intention to build eight new reactors in the next eight years.

A shift away from that position would represent a major change in UK energy policy that some will
lament and some will celebrate. But it would do little to convince investors in the UK – domestic and foreign – that they are dealing with a government with stable policy priorities.

BBC 4th Nov 2022


November 3, 2022 - Posted by | politics, UK

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