EDF, the owner of Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, has blamed inflation, Covid and Brexit for the reasons as to why the project could be delayed by a further four years until 2031 and cost £2.3bn more. The total cost of the project now moves toward the £35bn figure and is the latest in a series of setbacks for the site. Originally EDF had estimated that the first reactor unit at the nuclear site would be complete by June 2027 and operational by September 2028. The earliest operational date has now been given as 2029 by EDF.
Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C have been described as ushering in a new era of nuclear plants in the UK, with Great British Nuclear being launched last year with the hope of accelerating developments. However, these delays will add pressure to the government’s plans to deliver nuclear energy whilst keeping costs down and delivering the jobs expected to come with nuclear infrastructure improvements. The development of small modular nuclear reactors will also play an important part in supplementing these delays.
Sizewell C Funding:
Yesterday the government also announced an additional £1.3bn of funding for the construction of Sizewell C. This package is the largest funding to date and is expected to allow early work construction to continue ahead of final investment decisions later this year. The funding will also support local infrastructure.