Plan for third big nuclear power plant after Hinkley and Sizewell C

Aaron Morby 3 months ago
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The Government has set out plans to build another major nuclear power station project after Hinkley and Sizewell C.

Hinkley C dome lift before Christmas
Hinkley C dome lift before Christmas

Committment to a third ‘gigawatt-scale’ power plant project comes in a fresh routemap to increase nuclear generation by up to 4 times to 24GW by 2050.

The Civil Nuclear Roadmap will give industry certainty of the future direction of the UK’s nuclear programme, on top of the government’s historic commitment to Sizewell C and world-leading competition to develop small modular reactor technology.

The government will also invest up to £300m in UK production of the fuel required to power high-tech new nuclear reactors, known as HALEU, currently only commercially produced in Russia.

The UK will lead the way from its North West production hub to provide the world with this form of uranium fuel, with the first plant aiming to be operational early in the next decade. This builds on the ambition to return uranium conversion to the Springfields nuclear fuel site.

Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said: “Nuclear is the perfect antidote to the energy challenges facing Britain – it’s green, cheaper in the long term and will ensure the UK’s energy security for the long-term.

“This is the right long-term decision and is the next step in our commitment to nuclear power, which puts us on course to achieve net zero by 2050 in a measured and sustainable way.”

The government has published two consultations, one on a new approach to siting future nuclear power stations and another on supporting the sector and encouraging private investment to roll out advanced nuclear projects.

The proposals will attract investment in the UK nuclear sector by empowering developers to find suitable sites rather than focusing on 8 designated by government. Community engagement will remain critical to any decisions, alongside maintaining robust criteria such as nearby population densities.

 

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