The UK Government has denied that Sizewell C faces the chop under November’s spending review, despite reports to the contrary.
According to the BBC, a UK Government official confirmed that every major spending project was under review “including Sizewell C.” However, following backlash from many within the industry, noting that short-term thinking around infrastructure could prolong future energy crises, Downing Street appeared to row back the comment.
Sizewell C gained final approval from Boris Johnson as one of his last acts as Prime Minister, but Rishi Sunak has admitted that tough decisions will need to be made in order to reign in spending amidst a looming black hole in the Government’s budget. With £700 million of public spending committed to Sizewell C, cancelling the project could go some way towards plugging that hole.
However, the Government on Friday confirmed that it was having “constructive” discussions with private firms to get more funding for Sizewell C, ensuring that the project comes to fruition. It’s unlikely the new nuclear power station will be built without Government support.
We’ll know for sure what faces the axe in the coming days, with the UK Government set to lay out its spending commitments in the Autumn Statement on November 17.
While it’s well-known that spending cuts are coming, many in the electrical industry hope that it won’t impact vital infrastructure projects, such as Sizewell C, or the UK’s commitment to net zero. Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also warned against the UK turning away from its path to net zero, admitting he was “worried” about whether the country could achieve its legally-binding goal amidst a gloomy economic climate.