The prime minister was set to announce a ten-point plan to meet the UK’s climate change promises due the week after next. A sticking point on the ten-point plan is nuclear power, with Mr Johnson confronted with a critical decision over whether to press ahead with the Sizewell C plant in which a Chinese firm, CGN, has a 20 per cent stake. He is due to meet Rishi Sunak, his chancellor, and Alok Sharma, the business secretary, to decide the UK’s future civil nuclear programme on Monday.
Times 7th Nov 2020 read more »
Boris Johnson is poised to launch major plans for a ‘green industrial revolution’ backing a new wave of nuclear power plants to boost the economy and slash Britain’s carbon emissions. The proposals are expected to include the green light to build a nuclear plant at Sizewell C in Suffolk and the next stage in a programme that would lead to a production line of rapidly and more cheaply produced small modular reactors within a decade, The Mail on Sunday understands. The Government is considering a ‘Made in Britain’ solution that may include a taxpayer-backed injection from an infrastructure growth fund – a plan that would need rubber stamping by the Treasury. Funding could also include backing from British pension funds. It would allow the Government to help subsidise the small modular reactor programme (SMR) with as much as £2billion and a stake in Sizewell C of up to 10 per cent of its £20billion build costs. Sizewell C is backed by French state-backed EDF Energy, which could become a minority shareholder. Government financing would also help slash the cost of electricity produced by the plant. Britain has eight nuclear power plants, generating about a fifth of the country’s electricity. Seven are due to close by 2030. The SMR consortium is led by Rolls-Royce and includes construction and engineering companies Assystem, Atkins, BAM Nuttall, Jacobs and Laing O’Rourke. It hopes to build ten to 15 reactors in the UK, largely on former nuclear sites. Plans are already being discussed for the possibility of joint sites in locations including Moorside in Cumbria – where Japanese multinational Toshiba recently pulled out of developing its own reactor – that could contain a large EDF-backed reactor and a smaller modular reactor, creating a ‘clean energy hub’. EDF has insisted synergies with Hinkley will mean the cost of energy from a second plant at Sizewell C would be slashed. It is understood site preparations could begin immediately and that planning consent for the project itself could be given as soon as 2022, meaning the plant could be online by 2032.
Mail on Sunday 7th Nov 2020 read more »
Fears have been voiced that the 10-year construction of Sizewell C could bring drug gangs and prostitution – including the sexual exploitation of women and teenage girls and “pop-up brothels” – to the area.
East Anglian Daily Times 8th Nov 2020 read more »