Sizewell C a step closer after £2billion pledge

Sizewell C

Sizewell C - Credit: Copyright EDF Energy 2012 - Stag

The prospect of a third nuclear plant on the Suffolk coast came a step closer to reality as George Osborne gave the green light to an initial government guarantee for the first new nuclear power station in the UK for 20 years.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced the new government guarantee, provided by Infrastructure UK, for the planned Hinkley Point C power station in Somerset.

Hinkley Point forms a major part of Britain's nuclear programme, which includes two new reactors at Sizewell, near Leiston. The timeline of Hinkley Point and Sizewell C have always been linked and Suffolk MPs have previously said the Somerset facility would provide impetus for Sizewell.

The initial deal which was revealed at the weekend is set to be worth around £2billion and will pave the way for a final investment decision by energy company EDF, supported by China General Nuclear Corporation and China National Nuclear Corporation, later this year.

The construction and operation of Hinkley Point C is expected to create thousands of jobs in Somerset and more widely in the nuclear industry across the UK, as well as boosting Britain's energy security.

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Mr Osborne said: 'Britain was the home to the very first civil nuclear power stations in the world and I am determined that we now lead the way again. Nuclear power is cost-competitive with other low-carbon technology and is a crucial part of our energy mix, along with new sources of power such as shale gas. So I am delighted to announce this guarantee for Hinkley Point today and to be in China to discuss their investments in Britain's nuclear industry.'

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