EDF’s application to build Sizewell C, a new nuclear power station in Suffolk, has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.
If approved, Sizewell C will supply around 6 million homes with always-on, low carbon electricity made in the UK. It will support the expansion of renewables and improve the UK’s national resilience by reducing the need for energy imports.
The DCO application was deferred for two months in recognition of the extraordinary circumstances created by the Coronavirus. Extra measures will be put in place to make it easier for local communities to scrutinise the proposals once they are published. These include extending the pre-examination period to allow more time for interested parties to register with the Planning Inspectorate.
EDF claim the new power station will provide a huge stimulus to the UK economy following the Coronavirus pandemic, with around 25,000 employment opportunities and 1,000 apprenticeships created during construction.
In the east of England, Sizewell C will boost training and employment opportunities for young people and create long-term, well-paid jobs. Once operational, it will employ 900 people in high-skilled positions based in Suffolk.
Up to 70% of the construction value will be spent with firms across the UK, including in the east of England, Wales, and in the north, and the project will aim to be majority owned by UK investors.
Sizewell C will be a near replica of Hinkley Point C in Somerset. EDF claims that using the same design means Sizewell C will benefit from significantly reduced construction costs and lower risk, and that innovative financing has the potential to reduce costs even further.
The application for a Development Consent Order follows four rounds of public consultation which began in 2012. More than 10,000 residents and organisations in Suffolk have contributed their views and helped to shape the final proposals.
Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, managing director, Sizewell C, said: “Sizewell C is a net zero infrastructure project ready to kick-start the economy following the Coronavirus crisis. It will offer thousands of high-quality job opportunities and long-term employment for people living in Suffolk and it will strengthen the nuclear supply chain across the country.
“On top of the economic benefits, Sizewell C will avoid 9 million tonnes of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere each year. The project will play a key role in lowering emissions while helping the UK keep control of its low carbon future.”
John Dugmore, chief executive, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce said: “Sizewell C’s DCO application is momentous for businesses and residents in Suffolk. It will boost training and employment opportunities across the county and attract investment to regenerate rural areas and towns.”
After the DCO application has been submitted there will be a 28-day period during which the Planning Inspectorate will assess whether the application is complete. Documents are not made public at this stage.
If the application is accepted, the period for public registration will be extended to make it easier for people to participate. Full public examination is not expected to begin until the Autumn. A final decision on the DCO application will be taken by the government.
Nuclear power has been generated on the Suffolk coast for more than half a century. Sizewell A began generating power in 1966 and was decommissioned four decades later in 2006. Sizewell B began operations in 1995.