The UK Department for Energy Security & Net Zero (DESNZ) has announced measures to speed up preparations for construction of the Sizewell C NPP following the launch of Great British Nuclear (GBN) to oversee a rapid expansion of nuclear power. In April the Government set a target of 24 GWe of nuclear capacity by 2050, meeting about 25% of the UK's projected electricity demand. This compares with about 6.5 GW of nuclear capacity today accounting for some 15% of its electricity. DESNZ says Sizewell C would also boost the UK’s energy security.

Ministers have confirmed a further £170m ($218m) investment of previously allocated funding for development work on the project. This will be used to prepare the Sizewell C site for future construction, procure key components from the project’s supply chain, and expand its workforce.

At the peak of the construction work, Sizewell C is expected to support 10,000 UK jobs, with supply chain plans for 70% of the value of construction contracts going to UK businesses.

DESNZ said GBN will support large scale projects, such as Sizewell C and Hinkley Point C, as well as emerging nuclear technologies.

“These measures will also help attract potential private investment into new nuclear projects, alongside the government’s introduction of the tried and tested RAB [Regulated Asset Base] model for nuclear, and the inclusion of nuclear in the UK’s green taxonomy, subject to consultation.”

Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps said Sizewell C “represents the bridge between the ongoing construction of Hinkley Point C and our longer-term ambition to provide up to a quarter of the UK’s electricity from homegrown nuclear energy by 2050”.

Nuclear and Networks Minister Andrew Bowie said that, with government support, the nuclear industry will play a critical role in supplying cleaner and boosting energy security. “The steps we’re taking today will speed up the development of one of our biggest projects, Sizewell C, towards final approval, which would enable construction to start as soon as possible, supporting thousands of jobs for communities in Suffolk and across the country,” he noted.

In November 2022, the government established a £700m investment scheme, to fund Sizewell C’s continuing development so it can reach the point of a final investment decision.  DESNZ said the £170m “represents a permitted legacy subsidy modification to the investment scheme under the subsidy control rules”.

Sizewell C is expected to host two EPRs producing 3.2 GWe similar to the Hinkley Point C plant, under construction in Somerset. EDF Energy submitted a development consent order (a planning application) for the plant in May 2020, which was granted in July 2022. In March, the UK's Environment Agency granted environmental permits – a radioactive substances activity permit, a combustion activity permit and a water discharge activity permit – for the plant.

EDF said in November 2022 that construction of Sizewell C remained subject to a final investment decision and said that this depended on the achievement of certain key stages, in particular the ability to raise the necessary financing to carry out the project as well as “the deconsolidation of the project from the Group's balance sheet". EDF added that it planned to "retain only a minority stake in the final investment decision – a maximum of 20%"and hoped to make a final investment decision in 2023.

Originally China General Nuclear (CGN) held a 20% stake in the Sizewell C project but in 2022 CGN pulled out of the project after the Government paid £679m to become a 50% partner with EDF.