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Sizewell C takes inspiration from Somerset plant's success

PUBLISHED: 07:30 28 June 2019

The 'Nuclear Island' at Hinkley Point C, a power plant under construction in Somerset Picture: EDF ENERGY

The 'Nuclear Island' at Hinkley Point C, a power plant under construction in Somerset Picture: EDF ENERGY

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Construction of a new nuclear power station in Somerset has seen 8,500 people trained and hundreds of apprentices hired - and EDF are claiming Sizewell C could do the same for Suffolk.

An artist's impression of what Sizewell C will look like  Picture: EDF ENERGYAn artist's impression of what Sizewell C will look like Picture: EDF ENERGY

Following in the footsteps of a "near identical" project in the south west called Hinkley Point C, Suffolk's new nuclear power station could be on track to create thousands of new jobs, along with huge investment in local contracts.

The construction of Hinkley Point C recently hit a big milestone as the base for the first reactor was completed - meaning the construction of the nuclear buildings above ground can now begin.

Almost 4,000 people are now working on the Somerset power station, half of them from the local area.

Meanwhile, 430 of 1,000 apprentices have been hired, 8,500 people have been trained, and £1.5billion of contracts have been awarded in the south west.

Site engineers working at Hinkley Point C  Picture: EDF ENERGYSite engineers working at Hinkley Point C Picture: EDF ENERGY

The world's largest crane is also taking shape on site to allow prefabrication of large parts of the nuclear buildings.

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Energy giant EDF, which is behind both Sizewell C and Hinkley Point C, is claiming Suffolk could see similar benefits once construction gets underway.

Simone Rossi, CEO, said: "The innovation at Hinkley Point C sets up the opportunity to reduce costs for consumers for a near identical power station at Sizewell C in Suffolk."

A view of nuclear island, where the first reactor will be based, at Hinkley Point C two years into the build  Picture: EDF ENERGYA view of nuclear island, where the first reactor will be based, at Hinkley Point C two years into the build Picture: EDF ENERGY

Andrew Stephenson, minister for nuclear at the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, added: "This is a huge achievement for Hinkley Point C and a major milestone for the UK's nuclear new-build industry, which - as a low-carbon electricity source - is key to meeting our ambitious target of net zero emissions by 2050."

EDF has said the low carbon electricity generated by the power stations will play a vital role in helping the UK tackle climate change.

Mr Rossi added: "Hinkley Point C's progress is good news for anyone concerned about the climate change crisis.

"Its reliable low carbon power will be essential for a future with no unabated coal and gas and a large expansion of renewable power."

The team are now two years into the construction of Somerset's new nuclear plant. It is on schedule to start producing energy in 2025.

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