The UK needs Sizewell C

Our proposal is to build a new nuclear power station on the East Suffolk coast which will supply 6 million homes with low-carbon electricity.

Nuclear energy is needed as it doesn’t depend on the weather and will reduce costs for consumers. Sizewell C will play a key role in the energy transition and will be one of the biggest Net-Zero projects in the UK.

Nuclear power is proven, reliable and clean

To get to Net Zero, the UK will need around four times the amount of low-carbon energy it uses today.

While most of the growing demand for low-carbon electricity will be met by renewables, nuclear will also be needed to keep the system stable and reduce costs.

The EPR design

The EPR reactor design has been approved by the UK’s nuclear regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR). This means it satisfies Britain’s high standards for nuclear safety.

The team at the UK EPR Design Centre in Bristol are industry experts bringing experience from a range of nuclear projects. Watch our videos to see how they are supporting HPC and SZC.

Frequently asked questions

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  • Why do we need to build Sizewell C?

    Sizewell C is the only new nuclear project which can start construction in the next few years.

    It is the only project which is ready to deliver the lower financing and construction costs that come through replication.

    Other nuclear designs are being developed but it will be several years before those projects obtain the required regulatory approvals and contracts to begin construction.

    Achieving Net Zero requires an unprecedented build rate and means we need to deploy approved designs that are available today.

    Sizewell C will sustain jobs and skills in the nuclear industry until other projects are more fully developed.

  • How will Sizewell C be funded?

    In October 2021, the Government introduced legislation to allow new nuclear projects to be financed using the so-called RAB (Regulated Asset Base) model.

    RAB is a funding arrangement for large infrastructure projects which reduces costs for consumers.

    It’s a tried and tested method which has already been used to finance around £180bn of UK infrastructure.

    By attracting a pool of investors and allowing them to share some project risks with consumers, the RAB model helps to reduce financing costs. Lowering the cost of finance has a much bigger impact on what consumers pay than construction costs.

    Government says that overall consumers are expected to save more than £30bn over the project’s lifetime on each new large-scale nuclear power station compared with existing funding mechanisms.

  • Why will Sizewell C be using the EPR design?

    EPRs – originally known as European Pressurised Water Reactors – are a type of Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR).

    The UK EPR design being used for Sizewell C is the same as at Hinkley Point C in Somerset. Making a copy means we can lower construction and financing costs.

    The EPR is a good choice for Sizewell C. It is a proven technology which is already operating at Taishan in China.

    It is a major evolution of previous PWR designs and means Sizewell C and Hinkley Point C will be among the safest and most efficient nuclear plants ever built.

    The UK EPR meets the most stringent safety and environmental standards. It will use less uranium and produce almost a third less long-lived radioactive waste compared to other water reactors in operation today.

    As part of the Generic Design Assessment (GDA), the UK EPR design underwent years of evaluation by the Office for Nuclear Regulation and Environment Agency.

    850,000 hours of engineering studies were undertaken as part of the rigorous four-year design approval process.

  • How will Sizewell's emissions compare with other low-carbon technologies?

    lifecycle carbon assessment graphic. it says, Sizewell C will have lower lifecycle carbon emissions than wind and solar. All three technologies will be essential in helping Britain achieve net zero
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that lifecycle carbon emissions for nuclear are comparable with wind, and lower than all other technologies.

    A peer-reviewed Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) for Sizewell C shows that emissions will be half the level attributed to nuclear and offshore wind by the IPCC.

  • How will you minimise the impact of construction?

    We are taking a wide range of measures to minimise the impact of construction on local communities. We made eleven pledges to the local community when we applied for a DCO in May 2020 and have taken measures to honour these.

    In the Deed of Obligation signed with Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council in October 2021, we agreed a £250m package to mitigate the effects of construction. It also provides funds to enhance the local environment and to support local employment and skills initiatives.

    An additional £400million will be spent on physical developments to avoid, limit, mitigate or compensate for the impacts of construction. This includes £175million for road infrastructure, rail improvements, a permanent beach landing facility and additional ecology work around the Associated Development sites. These will all provide a long-term benefit to East Suffolk.

    Measures we are taking to reduce the impact of construction include:

    • Up to 60% of construction materials will be transported to site by rail and sea, significantly reducing the number of HGVs on local roads.
    • Park and ride sites will allow commuters to use buses and will minimise traffic on local roads.
    • A freight management facility will allow us to carefully schedule deliveries to and from the construction site.
    • Bypass roads and a rail extension will be built to meet increased demand from the project.
    • Sizewell C will remove any unnecessary infrastructure following construction, restoring the land in the process, whilst leaving all useful road and rail enhancements in place.
    • Measures to reduce noise include screening, use of quieter working methods and a noise mitigation scheme for properties significantly impacted.
    • A Tourism Fund has been established to ensure any potential effect on local tourism does not have economic consequences. There is little evidence to suggest that Sizewell C will have an impact on tourism in the surrounding area.
    • We are exploring the use of alternative fuels (such as hydrogen and electricity) for buses, HGVs, and other construction equipment that will be used on the site.
    • Lighting will be managed to limit light spill on the surrounding environment, reducing the impact on local species.
    • Dust management plans will be implemented to control and minimise dust emissions.