Call for postponement of Sizewell C until new Prime Minister arrives

7:30 a.m. July 19, 2022

Campaigners are calling for further delays for a final decision on whether to greenlight the new Sizewell C nuclear power station until a new Prime Minister is in place.

The government has until July 20 to approve or reject the twin reactor, but campaign group Stop Sizewell C, which opposes the plans, fears a decision could be ‘politically motivated’ by the Prime Minister’s commitment outgoing Boris Johnson in favor of nuclear energy.

They pointed to talks between the candidates for the Prime Minister’s succession over cutting green levies and cutting taxes, which they said would be ‘inconsistent’ with Sizewell C, which could be funded through the base model of regulated assets (RAB).

Under RAB, developers can charge a small amount on electricity bills to cover costs, with the aim of possibly reducing consumer bills once the power plant is operational.

Alison Downes of Stop Sizewell C
– Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Alison Downes, spokesperson for Stop Sizewell C, said: “Stop Sizewell C has urged ministers to delay the planning decision and any government investment decisions until a new Prime Minister is in place.

‘Leadership contestants’ concern over tax cuts and the removal of ‘green’ levies on bills is inconsistent with Sizewell C, which would require a nuclear tax on consumers to help cover financing costs during construction , and where construction costs, risks and delays are both high. and difficult to predict with precision.

Stop Sizewell C argues the £20billion project is the ‘wrong project in the wrong place’, ‘too slow and expensive’, and argues the technology is unproven.

Impression of the new Sizewell C

Artist’s impression of the new Sizewell C
– Credit: Archant

In particular, they fear the impact on the environment, including the Minsmere RSPB Nature Reserve and the protected species of marsh harrier that live there.

However, wildlife photographer Steven Teeder said funds were being provided by the developers to support local infrastructure and the Minsmere Reserve.

A spokesperson for Sizewell C said: ‘Sizewell C will provide £2billion to the Suffolk economy with contracts for local businesses and 1,500 apprenticeships and at least a third of the workforce coming from the region.

“Sizewell C takes its environmental responsibilities extremely seriously and works hard to ensure environmental protection before, during and after the construction of the plant.”

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