British, French leaders in support of Sizewell C : New Nuclear

07 October 2022

The UK’s Prime Minister Liz Truss and France’s President Emmanuel Macron have both expressed their support for the construction of the Sizewell C nuclear power plant in Suffolk, England, a final decision on which is expected in the coming weeks.

Liz Truss and Emmanuel Macron meeting in Prague (Image: Number 10)

Following a meeting on the sidelines of the first Summit of the European Political Community in Prague, the two leaders issued a joint statement saying they had discussed advancing bilateral cooperation, in particular on energy.

“Energy transition and decoupling from Russian hydro-carbons are common challenges,” they said. “They reaffirmed their belief that both renewable and nuclear energies are part of consistent strategies to achieve energy transition and strategic autonomy”.

Truss and Macron “confirmed the full support of the UK and French governments for the new nuclear power station at Sizewell and expect the relevant bodies to finalize arrangements in the coming month”.

The plan is for Sizewell C to feature two EPRs producing 3.2 GW of electricity, enough to power the equivalent of around six million homes. It would be a “replica” of the Hinkley Point C plant, under construction in Somerset. EDF Energy submitted a development consent order (a planning application) for the plant in May 2020, which was granted in July this year. EDF Energy has earlier said it expects to make a final investment decision later this year or in 2023.

Truss and Macron also committed to advance and increase UK-France civil-nuclear cooperation, including on innovation, infrastructure development and workforce skills.

Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said: “Sizewell C will be one of the UK’s most important green infrastructure projects ever, and critical to the government’s plan to strengthen energy security, cut gas use and bring down bills, so this joint statement is very welcome.

“The UK needs to urgently get on with building new nuclear capacity alongside renewables, and it’s now important that a Final Investment Decision on Sizewell is reached swiftly so construction can begin.”

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

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