The decision to give the green light to the first of a new generation of nuclear power plants will restore confidence to the Norfolk and Suffolk supply chain, according to chamber of commerce chief executive Caroline Williams.

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The move by the government to grant planning consent to Hinkley Point C in Somerset brings plans to build a new nuclear reactor at Sizewell one step closer, said Mrs Williams, who is urging local businesses to seize the opportunities presented by a new age of nuclear energy.

It comes after the future of nuclear new-builds was rocked last month when British Gas owner Centrica pulled out of the UK’s new nuclear build programme, leaving a financial hole in EDF Energy’s ambition to build a third nuclear facility in Suffolk.

But Mrs Williams said yesterday’s announcement by energy secretary Ed Davey would provide certainty to the region’s businesses looking to capitalise on opportunities presented by Hinkley Point C – although a strike price from the government has still yet to be agreed.

She said: “Yesterday’s news makes Sizewell C a step closer because if Hinkley Point C had been refused then Sizewell C would have been much more difficult.

“It means that businesses that are looking to take advantage of the opportunities at Sizewell C can now take advantage of the opportunities at Hinkley Point C.

“EDF will be mindful of using the local supply chain in Somerset, but if there’s an alternative solution then they will look at Norfolk and Suffolk companies.

“We would recommend that they register on the Hinkley website.

“Business don’t do well when things are uncertain and the fact that the uncertainty surrounding Hinkley Point C has been taken away is important.

“Energy minister John Hays will be visiting the Norfolk Chamber during our Sustainability conference in May. We will stress to him then the importance of making a timely decision on the future of Sizewell C, ensuring that it has a positive outcome.”

The news is a boost to the nuclear industry following a series of setbacks in plans to construct a new fleet of reactors in the UK, which ministers say are needed to cut carbon and keep the lights on.

Mr Davey told the Commons that affordable new nuclear would play a “crucial role” in ensuring secure, diverse supplies of energy and decarbonising the electricity sector.

2 comments

  • GE Hitachi are already offering their PRISM reactor to dispose of our plutonium stockpile. They are proposing payment by results, for every kilogram of plutonium processed, so there will be no capital expenditure by the government (our taxes). In 5 years, it will render the plutonium useless as a bomb making material. From the fuel produced, it will supply enough electricity for 750,000 people for 50 or 60 years.

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    prismsuk

    Friday, March 22, 2013

  • PWR's are prone to failure, they are inefficient and leave a legacy of waste. Further, looking after a pile 0f 112tns of plutonium is not going to be cheap, so why not fission it and turn it into electricity in a molten salt reactor? Our existing nuclear waste could power us for 200 years, minimum. And what of tidal generation schemes and power from sea currents? how many estuaries need protecting from rising sea levels? How about some precautionary public works, marrying a storm surge barrier with tidal power generation schemes, what is it we don't get from the examples and expertise of our Dutch neighbours? work, jobs, expertise and sustainable 247power. Buying time.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

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