A consultation on whether to grant planning approval for a new nuclear reactor at Sizewell C in Suffolk has been launched.
The Environment Agency is seeking views over a 12-week period on its proposed decision to grant three permits relating for the planned £20 million nuclear power station.
Any company that wants to operate a nuclear power plant must show it can build, commission, operate and decommission the power station and manage the radioactive waste it produces whilst also protecting the environment.
In May 2020, NNB Generation Company (SZC) Limited, EDF’s new nuclear build firm, applied for the permits, which will allow it to dispose of and discharge radioactive waste, operate standby power supply systems using diesel generators and discharge cooling water and liquid effluent into the North Sea.
The EA’s proposed decision is to issue all three permits for the nuclear project but will consider the views from the consultation before making a final decision in early 2023.
SZC is proposing to build a twin reactor nuclear power station which is expected to generate 3.2GW of electricity, enough to provide 7% of the UK’s needs, generating power for 60 years.
That’s equivalent to powering around six million homes annually with the plant expected to take around nine years to build.
The Environment Agency’s Sizewell C Project Manager, Simon Barlow, said: “The company has applied for these permits many years ahead of the station operating.
“If we grant these permits early in the project, it will help us to positively influence the design, procurement and commissioning of the power station, whilst also ensuring that the environment and wildlife is protected.
“We want our decisions to be better informed through consultation and want to hear people’s views on our proposed decisions.”
The consultation will run until 25th September 2022.