Sense about Sizewell… good news at last?

The BBC reported this weekend that the long awaited Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk is set to get the green light after talks between the government and EDF intensified. Is it time for Energy For Humanity to celebrate?

Now, there are many things in life that we can’t help but feel joy about. Birthdays, weddings, beautiful walks in nature, videos of sleepy bunny rabbits sitting in drinking glasses… but the building of a power station? Should this really make us happy?

Well for those of us seeking a realistic solution to the threat of climate collapse, this is some of the best news in years.

A digital impression of Sizewell C alongside the existing Sizewell A (decommissioned) and Sizewell B (currently operational)

‘Amazingly Low’ Carbon

Nuclear energy is ‘amazingly low’ carbon and, should it get the green light as predicted, Sizewell C alone would power 6 million homes for an incredible 60 years with energy cleaner than solar power! That would save us about 9 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year compared to a gas powered plant. That’s a serious saving.

Sizewell C is also good news because it’s an ‘oven-ready’ climate solution. Because it’s planned to be a near identical copy of Hinkley Point C, which is currently under construction, there will be major efficencies in cost and construction. Once complete the new plants at Hinkley and Sizewell combined will provide an incredible 14% of the UK’s electricity.

Given that the UK government is still way off track to meet its 2050 Net Zero target, this seems like pretty good news to us!

Members of campaign group Nuclear For Net Zero take part in ‘Swim For Sizewell’ earlier this year.

Time To Celebrate?

Now it’s crucial not to count our chickens – or sleeping bunnies – just yet. Previous news reports have given similar hopes only to be months – or years – early in their predictions. However, in the midst of a pandemic the promise of up to 70,000 direct and indirect jobs might help speed things up.

Earlier this year Energy For Humanity wrote to business secretary Alok Sharma, emphasising the importance of evidence-based decision making when it comes to Sizewell C. We’ll continue to keep up the pressure in the future should things change.

So whilst it might not quite be time to organise a party just yet, we might start panic buying party-poppers just in case!