LONDON, July 20 (AP) Britain’s government on Wednesday gave the green light to a new nuclear power plant that is expected to produce enough low-carbon electricity to power 6 million homes.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said development consent had been granted for the construction of the plant, called Sizewell C, on the Suffolk coast in eastern England.
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French energy company EDF, which will partly finance the project, said the plant would generate electricity for at least 60 years and employ 900 people. The plant is said to cost 20 billion pounds (USD 24 billion).
Authorities say the plant will contribute substantially to Britain’s goal of generating a quarter of the country’s electricity from nuclear power by 2050.
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The UK wants to reduce its reliance on imported oil and gas and produce cheaper, cleaner electricity domestically. The government has said it wants 95 percent of British electricity to come from low-carbon sources by 2030.
Five of the country’s six existing nuclear plants will be shut down within a decade. Sizewell C will be between two new nuclear plants under construction – the other plant, Hinckley C, is expected to open in mid-2026 after several delays.
Sizewell Sea has faced opposition from local and environmental groups, who argue that it will harm local nature reserves. Critics also say nuclear plants are much more expensive and slower to build than other renewable energy options.
Campaign group Stop Sizewell Sea said it would appeal against the government’s decision to approve the plant.
“Regardless of the impact on consumers, massive costs and delays, outstanding technical questions or environmental impacts, this remains a bad project and a very bad risk,” the group said. (AP)
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