New UK nuclear power plant gets go-ahead — Analysis
UK authorities gave the green light to the Sizewell C NPP’s development. This angered eco-activists
On Wednesday, the UK government approved development consent for the Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk (East of England). This move has been met with fierce resistance from environmentalists.
According to the UK authorities, the NPP will produce “Reliable, low-carbon electricity for Britain to achieve Net Zero” and will have the capacity to supply six million homes with energy. The cost of the new 3.2-gigawatt project, mostly funded by French company EDF, is estimated at £20 billion ($24 billion). Sizewell C will follow Sizewell B (which was shut down in 2006) and Sizewell A (which is still operational).
EDF touted the move as “The biggest step in the approval process so far.”
“Sizewell C will bring thousands of jobs to the local area and create many opportunities for businesses. It will enhance local biodiversity, and provide a legacy Suffolk can be proud.,” Carly Vince, Sizewell C’s chief planning officer, said, vowing to work closely with local residents to address their concerns.
Eco-activists have blasted the government’s decision. “It’s not the end of our campaign to Stop Sizewell C. Not only will we be looking closely at appealing this decision, we’ll continue to challenge every aspect of Sizewell C, because – whether it is the impact on consumers, the massive costs and delays, the outstanding technical questions or the environmental impacts – it remains a very bad risk,” campaign group Stop Sizewell C said.
The comments were echoed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), a nature conservation charity, which said “The advice was rejected by Sizewell’s approval” of state experts, noting that the plant will have a negative impact on the nature reserve at Minsmere in Suffolk.
Britain’s decision to approve the construction of a nuclear power plant is a sign of its desire to be more energy-independent in the long-term, despite rising energy prices. However, it also wants to continue to use clean energy sources.
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