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Get Sizewell Built

Thursday, April 5, 2018



It’s an absolute no brainer that Britain will need at least six new nuclear plants says GMB.

GMB, the energy union, has called on the Government to stop ‘dithering’ and give EDF the assurances it needs to make sure the new nuclear reactor at Sizewell is built.

The energy giant has threatened to abandon work on a proposed nuclear plant in Suffolk unless it receives assurances from the government this year that a viable funding model exists.

Simone Rossi, EDF Energy’s UK chief executive, said that rapid progress was needed on the development of the sister project to its £19.6 billion Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset because promised cost savings would not materialise if there was a significant delay between work on the two. [1]

National Grid has forecast up to 35 million pure electric vehicles will be on the roads by 2050 needing an extra 30 gigawatts of power — the equivalent of 10 Hinkley Point power stations. [2]

A separate National Grid Report [3] says gas is fundamental to the UK’s energy future, and it’s not realistic to switch to electric heating on the scale required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80 per cent of 1990 levels by the middle of this century.

It says a move to electric heating would require a seven-fold increase in the capacity of the grid to 290 gigawatts - emphasising the importance of gas and the need for our own independent supply.

During  the 12 months from 7 March 2017, every one in 5.6 days was a low wind day (65 days in total) when the output of the installed and connected wind turbines in the UK produced less than 10% of their installed and connected capacity for more than half of the day. [4]

Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary, said:

“With EDF seeking some certainty and commitment over its plans to build a new nuclear power station at Sizewell in Suffolk, Government cannot afford another bout of energy policy dithering. 

“It is an absolute no brainer that Britain will need the reliable base load electricity from at least six new nuclear plants, including at Sizewell.  

“With supply from renewables being intermittent, coal coming completely off line in 2025 and the existing nuclear power stations reaching the end of their natural lives in the next decade, we cannot meet the demand for as much as 30 gigawatts more power for up 35 million pure electric cars by 2050 without new nuclear and gas.

“National Grid has already said that gas will be vital to heat homes because without it electricity capacity would have to increase sevenfold to 290 gigawatts for cold days, which is neither realistic nor affordable, and we cannot meet our carbon reduction commitments anyway without gas.

“The answers are therefore obvious, sort out Sizewell and make the other necessary decisions to ensure the country is energy self-sufficient for the future.”


Contact: Justin Bowden on 07710 631351; or GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at

Notes to Editors:





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