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Reuters Events: EDF calls for funding legislation for new UK nuclear power plant

Reuters Events: EDF calls for funding legislation for new UK nuclear power plant
Reuters Events: EDF calls for funding legislation for new UK nuclear power plant Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021
By Reuters
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By Kate Holton

LONDON - France's EDF called on the British government to deliver the legislation that would underpin the financing of a new nuclear plant, Sizewell C, saying it was now essential.

Simone Rossi, the UK head of EDF, said in an interview at the Reuters Events: Global Energy Transition conference, that lots of progress had been made on multiple fronts but the legislation underpinning the new financing scheme was now needed.

"I am led to believe it is quite possible to have this legislation included in the second session of parliament this coming autumn," he said.

"I would say this is an essential prerequisite for the project to be enabled because the project needs to be timely delivered and this legislation is now really, really essential."

Asked if his company had a Plan B in the event the government did not advance with the legislation, he said: "We do not really. I have to say that would be for the UK government to consider."

"The main avenue has been drawn in terms of funding mechanism for this project, I think it's a very solid one, a very robust one.

"It just requires enabling legislation. There is every reason to believe that this legislation will be making progress as planned."

China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) which holds a 20% share in the pre-construction phase of the Sizewell C project, is on a U.S. government list of companies Washington deems are acting contrary to U.S. interests.

Asked if that designation could hamper the project, Rossi said it will be up to the British government to decide on the best approach when the time comes to make an investment decision.

EDF is pressing ahead with a program of decommissioning some of its older reactors. That is long planned, but in some cases, the timetable is being accelerated.

Rossi said he did not anticipate that the generating capacity going offline as a result of the decommissioning would cause supply problems.

"It's not going to put the country into the darkness. The country is increasingly interconnected with other countries through new links, there are more and more renewables coming on line and there are still a lot of gas stations online," he said.

For more on the Reuters Events: Global Energy Transition conference please click here

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