London mulls £20bn nuclear deal

UK pledges net zero carbon emissions by 2050

Alok Sharma

The United Kingdom has began talks to facilitate a deal to build a new nuclear plant. The new energy structure is planned to be located in Suffolk, Reuters said. The projected output is estimated at 3,2 gigawatts of electricity. That would be enough to cover some 7% of country’s energy needs. The government has begun talks with French EDF about the construction of the new nuclear power plant.

The project is evaluated at some £20bn, BBC elaborated. However, the project has proved controversial with campaigners saying it is "ridiculously expensive". The government noted that any deal would be subject to a range of approvals on areas such as value for money and affordability.

It said negotiations will be dependent on the progress of the Hinkley Point C nuclear energy plant in Somerset which France's EDF is building in partnership with China General Nuclear Power. If the project proceeds, it could create thousands of new jobs during construction and operation, the government said.

The government has always been clear that it remains committed to new nuclear power to meet its target of net zero emissions by 2050. Any final decision to build the plant will be subject to a full regulatory and planning approval process. Some local opposition groups claim the project will damage the surrounding environment and important wildlife habitats, but there is also local support for the number of high quality jobs it will bring to an area which includes areas of high unemployment.

The government has also published its Energy White Paper, which sets out plans to change the UK's energy system as part of the aim of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.It also aims to cut households' bills by including proposals that will mean testing automatically switching consumers to fairer deals to tackle "loyalty penalties".

"Today's plan establishes a decisive and permanent shift away from our dependence on fossil fuels, towards cleaner energy sources that will put our country at the forefront of the global green industrial revolution," Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma told BBC.

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