The United Kingdom government gave the go-ahead to the £20 billion ($23.96 billion) Sizewell C nuclear power plant in Suffolk, England.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng granted development consent for the Sizewell C project on July 20, after more than two years since the plans were first submitted.
French energy EDF wants to build the 3.2 GW, two-reactor plant near its existing site at Sizewell B, with the aim to generate enough power for six million homes and create thousands of jobs.
“Sizewell C will be good for the region, creating thousands of opportunities for local people and businesses. It will boost local biodiversity and leave a legacy Suffolk can be proud of,” Sizewell C Chief Planning Officer Carly Vince said in a statement.
However, the decision faced fierce opposition from local campaigners, arguing that it went against recommendations from the independent Planning Inspectorate.
The Planning Inspectorate rejected the scheme due to concerns on the plant’s impact on protected species and habitats, as well as long-term water supply at the site.
Alison Downes of the Stop Sizewell C campaign called the go-ahead “the wrong decision.”
“What’s left of Boris Johnson’s administration should desist from throwing any more cash at Sizewell C or making a Government Investment Decision,” Downes said in a statement.
Greenpeace UK Chief Scientist Doug Parr said that Sizewell C “represents all that has been wrong about energy policy.”
“Rather than wasting time and money on this red herring energy solution, the government should throw everything at making cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable renewables the backbone of our energy system,” Parr said, as quoted by Sky News.
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