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General view of the current Sizewell B Nuclear Power Station, Sizewell, Suffolk
The new plant will be located in Suffolk, southern EnglandImage: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire/dpa/picture alliance
BusinessUnited Kingdom

UK greenlights nuclear power plant in eastern England

July 21, 2022

The planned nuclear power plant will keep the lights on in 6 million households, but environmentalists are not sold on the idea. A Green lawmaker slammed it as a "white elephant" project.


The British government has approved the development of a new nuclear power plant, labeled Sizewell C, to be built in  Suffolk in southeast England.

French energy utility EDF will be partly funding the project which will reportedly cost around €23.5 billion ($24 billion) to build.

A new break for nuclear power?

Britain said it would give €117 million to help in the construction and would also have a stake in the project.

Once complete, the plant would be capable of producing 3.2 gigawatts of electricity, which would power in the region of 6 million households.

The British government is aiming to have a quarter of its power needs come by way of nuclear power by 2050.

The project's financial director Julia Pyke said the benefits outweigh the costs of construction in the long term.

"Sizewell C will give a big boost to jobs and skills in nuclear supply chain companies across the country. It will strengthen the UK's energy security and play a key role in our fight against climate change," Pyke said.

Critics label project a 'white elephant'

Environmentalists have voiced their opposition to the project, with Green Party MP Caroline Lucas calling it a "massive costly white elephant."

The activist group Stop Sizewell C said it will consider appealing the decision. 

"Whether it is the impact on consumers, the massive costs and delays, the outstanding technical questions or the environmental impacts, it remains a bad project and a very bad risk," the group said.

Critics of the plant contend that nuclear power is more expensive and will take a long time to build compared to plants harvesting renewable energy sources like wind and solar power.

kb/dj (Reuters, AP)