Framatome signs contracts with Sizewell C

April 18, 2024, 3:02PMNuclear News
A computer-generated rendering of the Sizewell site on the Suffolk coast. Sizewell A and B are to the left and center (respectively) in this image; the section to the right is the Sizewell C area. (Image: EDF Energy)

French nuclear developer Framatome is slated to deliver key equipment for Sizewell C Ltd.’s two large reactors planned for the United Kingdom’s Suffolk coast.

The agreement, reportedly worth multiple billions of euros, was announced this week and will involve Framatome from the design phase until commissioning. The company also agreed to a long-term fuel supply deal. Framatome is 80.5 percent owned by France’s EDF and 19.5 percent owned by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Quotable: “[We are] proud to continue supporting the UK’s net zero target by 2050 by delivering a replica of the Hinkley Point C project at Sizewell C,” said Bernard Fontana, chief executive of Framatome. “The project will benefit from valuable experience garnered from Hinkley Point C, and our teams are determined to make it a success.”

Britain has laid out an ambitious goal to quadruple its nuclear energy production—up to 24 gigawatts—to provide for one-quarter of the nation’s electricity needs by 2050. During the COP28 climate summit last fall, that nation and more than 20 others announced a pledge to triple nuclear energy around the globe by 2050.

Background: Sizewell C station will have twin European pressurized reactors (EPRs) and be located next to Sizewell B, a 1,198-MWe reactor that began operation in 1995. The new plant will be a near-copy of the two-unit Hinkley Point C station in development in Somerset.

Sizewell C will generate 3.2 GW of electricity—enough to power around six million homes for the next 60 years.

Funding the project: The UK government has been seeking investment in the Sizewell C project and last September launched a prequalification for potential investors as the first stage of an equity raise process. Parliament also passed legislation allowing a new way of funding new large infrastructure projects—a regulated asset base (RAB) funding model, under which consumers would contribute toward the cost of new nuclear power plants during the construction phase.

In September 2023, the UK government announced that around $426 million of previously allocated funding would be available for Sizewell C development work. The funding was directed toward helping procure key components from the project’s supply chain and expanding its workforce, including building on-site training facilities for 1,500 apprenticeships.

Related Articles

Czech Republic to build 4 new reactors

February 1, 2024, 7:00AMNuclear News

The Czech government is looking to accelerate the pace at which it is adding nuclear energy to its grid. Officials announced yesterday that it plans to build up to four nuclear...