The UK secretary of state for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, is of the view that the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power plant is not likely to have significant effects in any other states outside of the UK, the UK's Planning Inspectorate said.
The statement followed a screening assessment of likely significant effects on the environment in other states from the project in accordance with Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017.
EDF Energy applied to the Planning Inspectorate for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to build Sizewell C in Suffolk in May and it was accepted in June. The application followed four rounds of public consultation that began in 2012.
In a statement, the Planning Inspectorate provided information about possible transboundary environmental impacts according to international conventions as part of its review of the DCO application for Sizewell C.
"Taking into account the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in a Transboundary Context (the Espoo Convention) and the UNECE Convention on access to information on environmental matters (the Aarhus Convention), the UK government has chosen to inform all signatory states and their public of the Proposed Development and invite their participation in the decision making process," the Planning Inspectorate said.
The proposed Sizewell C project includes two UK EPR units, each with an expected net electrical output of 1670MWe. The project includes the main nuclear power plant facility, offshore works and other associated development. It also includes the relocation, demolition and replacement of certain existing ancillary facilities associated with the operational Sizewell B nuclear station.
EDF Energy has said if Sizewell C is approved, a financial investment decision to build the power plant could be taken at the end of 2021 or early 2022 with construction starting "soon afterwards".
Phased construction of Sizewell C is anticipated to take 9-12 years, the Planning Inspectorate said. Once completed the Sizewell C nuclear plant will have an operational design life of 60 years followed by a period of decommissioning.