UK’s Boris Johnson goes nuclear with swan song energy investment

UK’s Boris Johnson goes nuclear with swan song energy investment
UK’s Boris Johnson goes nuclear with swan song energy investment

LONDON, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Britain will invest 700 million pounds ($809.13 million) in EDF’s Sizewell C nuclear power station (EDF.PA), outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday , announcing his last major political decision before his resignation. of the role next week.

“Go nuclear and go big, go with Sizewell C,” Johnson said, speaking in Sizewell, Suffolk, east England.

“We’re going to push it through because it would be absolute madness not to,” he said.

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The investment in nuclear power comes as Britain strives to be more energy independent after a spike in oil and gas prices following the war in Ukraine that left millions households facing fuel poverty this winter, and as the country aims to reach net zero emissions by 2050. read more

Britain has yet to attract private investors for Sizewell C.

EDF in France said the plant could cost 20% less than the cost of its Hinkley Point C plant in Britain, which is currently budgeted at 25-26 billion pounds ($29.90-30 billion) .

EDF expects to make a final investment decision on the project in 2023.

Increasing nuclear power generation would in the longer term reduce Britain’s dependence on natural gas, which accounted for around 45% of the country’s electricity generation last year.

The promised injection of public funds for Sizewell would come from the £1.7billion pledged by the government last year to help a new large-scale nuclear project get off the ground. Read more

However, it will be years before the plant is operational. Hinkley Point C nuclear power station has faced repeated delays and billions of pounds in cost overruns.

The Hinkley plant is currently expected to start in 2027, a decade later than originally planned.

EDF said Sizewell C would benefit from being “a close replica” of the Hinkley C project. Read More

China’s CGN currently holds a 20% development stake in the project. Some British politicians have expressed concerns about China’s involvement in the country’s nuclear industry and the government has approved a regulated asset-based (RAB) funding model which it hopes will attract different backers. funds towards the project. Read more


Under the Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model, companies building new power plants would be paid during the construction phase, reducing their development risk and allowing them to obtain cheaper financing for projects. .

“Sizewell C would lower UK electricity prices after it comes on line in the mid-2030s, but during its estimated 10-year construction period the project would result in higher consumer energy bills, as under ( RAB) some construction costs would be passed on to consumers,” said Asgeir Heimisson, senior partner at Aurora Energy Research.

Critics of the RAB say it will leave taxpayers liable for any cost overruns and delays during construction.

Anti-nuclear environmental group Greenpeace criticized the investment.

“That money could insulate a lot of drafty homes and reduce next year’s bills, instead of being thrown on the slow-burning financial bonfire that is EDF, to raise our bills for decades,” said Doug Parr, chief scientist at Greenpeace UK.

Britain’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy did not immediately respond to a request for clarification on whether the £700 million investment would see the government take a direct stake in the Sizewell project.

($1 = 0.8650 pounds)

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Reporting by Susanna Twidale and Muvija M in London, editing by Susan Fenton and Frances Kerry

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

. Boris Johnson UK pass nuclear with investment energy song swan

. UKs Boris Johnson nuclear swan song energy investment

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