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  • Marijan Hassan - Tech Journalist

The UK government considering backing out of Sizewell C nuclear plant project

The UK government is reconsidering its decision to invest in the Sizewell C nuclear power plant as finance minister Jeremy Hunt looks to fill a £40 billion ($45 billion) black hole hole in the country's public finances.

In January this year, the government pledged a £100 million ($113 million) investment into the nuclear power plant project that’s projected to produce up to 7 percent of the UK total electricity in exchange for a 10 percent stake.

However, the government is now considering delaying its investment or completely backing out as revealed by an anonymous government official. The official said that the government was reviewing every major project and not just the Sizewell power plant.

All this is coming in the backdrop of the Autumn Statement on November 17, in which Hunt will set out tax and spending plans as the UK battles with its longest recession in 30 years.

If indeed the government backs out of the project, this will have a negative effect on the UK’s local electricity supply that was already suffering due to the closure of the UK's civil nuclear capacity.

Moreover, Hinkley Point C, another similar project and the UK's first nuclear power station to be built in 20 years, has not been going as planned with delays and over-spending recorded.

In May the project was delayed for another year and £3 billion ($3.4 billion) extra cost added.

£3 billion ($3.4 billion) extra cost. However, EDF Energy has said that this will have no implication on the British consumer or taxpayer. The British integrated energy company is also the main financier of the Sizewell C nuclear power plant.

Experts believe that there needs to be consistent initiative from the government in creating policies and investing in nuclear power plants or else they will lose out.

According to a 2020 report from the House of Lords science and technology committee, successive governments' delays in taking civil nuclear policy decisions has affected the UK industry's potential ability both in the short and longer terms to play a part in various national policies.


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