Électricité de France subsidiary EDF Energy has submitted an application to the United Kingdom government’s Planning Inspectorate for a development consent order (DCO) to build a new power station, Sizewell C, at the Sizewell nuclear site in Suffolk. The agency received the application on May 27, after it had been deferred for two months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The proposed station, consisting of twin EPRs, would be built next to Sizewell B, a 1,198-MWe pressurized water reactor that began operations in 1995. (The Sizewell site is also home to Sizewell A, a 290-MWe Magnox gas-cooled reactor, but that unit was permanently shuttered in 2006.) Sizewell C would be a near replica of the two-unit Hinkley Point C station, located in Somerset.
What they’re saying: "Sizewell C is a net-zero infrastructure project ready to kick-start the economy following the coronavirus crisis,” said Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, managing director of the Sizewell C project. “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 tons of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere each year. The project will play a key role in lowering emissions while helping the U.K. keep control of its low-carbon future.”
John Dugmore, chief executive of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, added, “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.”
What’s next: The DCO process, according to the Planning Inspectorate’s website, consists of six stages: pre-application, acceptance, pre-examination, examination, recommendation and decision, and post-decision. Upon receipt of an application, the agency has 28 days to decide whether or not to accept it. The pre-examination stage typically lasts for about three months, after which time the examining authority—composed of one to five inspectors—has up to six months to review the application and three months to make a recommendation. The entire process should take about 16 months, the inspectorate said.