Sizewell is targeted for nuclear expansion

BY THE END of the century, Sizewell in Suffolk could have the highest concentration of nuclear power in Britain, with a total of five reactors: three American- style pressurised water reactors (PWRs) and two Magnox units.

Later this year, Nuclear Electric, the state-owned company which owns and operates nuclear power stations in England and Wales, is expected to apply for permission to build two PWRs on the site. The proposed new twin- reactor station, to be known as Sizewell C, would join Britain's first PWR, which is currently under construction at Sizewell and due to start operating in 1994.

In 1989, the Government imposed a moratorium on building new nuclear reactors, following its failure to privatise nuclear power along with the rest of the electricity supply industry. This ban may be lifted, however, if the industry can secure a favourable outcome from the Government review of nuclear economics in 1994.

A spokesman for the company said: 'We are keen to go for Sizewell C, it would be our first option for post-1994, if we get a favourable outcome.' The company already has planning permission for a single reactor at Hinkley Point in Somerset, although its plans to build there were stymied by the Government's moratorium.

Nuclear Electric hopes that its proposed twin-reactor station next to Sizewell B will require no more than a local planning inquiry. The company maintains that the safety of the design has been exhaustively tested at both the Sizewell and the Hinkley Point public inquiries.

Economics lies behind the change of site from Somerset to Suffolk. The company estimates that it can build the twin reactor station at Sizewell for a total cost of about pounds 3.5bn whereas the single Sizewell B reactor will cost about pounds 3bn in 1992 money values. The cost reduction comes about because some PWR-specific infrastructure is already present at Sizewell and because all the development costs of the PWR design have been written off against the capital costs of Sizewell B.

But the twin reactors at Sizewell C would not be exact replicas of the first PWR. Nuclear Electric is still reviewing options, but it is thought to favour a modified design which would produce power for about 2.95 pence per kilowatt hour - competitive with coal- fired stations and, possibly, with combined cycle gas turbines.

If all goes according to the nuclear industry's proposals, there could be a brief period when five nuclear reactors are operating at the site. Sizewell A started operating in 1966 and Nuclear Electric is studying how to extend the life of its twin Magnox reactors to 35 years and beyond.

There may, however, be several obstacles in Nuclear Electric's path, including the provision of finance and concern about projections of massive over-capacity of supply by the end of the century.

News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

(Senior) IT Support Engineer - 1st-3rd Line Support

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful IT service provider that has bee...

Wind Farm Civil Design Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principal Marine Mechanical Engineer

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principle Geotechnical Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup