Britain has postponed a decision on whether to award EDF (EDF.PA) development licence to construct the Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk, England, to allow the minister in charge more time to evaluate the proposal, according to the government.
The postponement comes after a turbulent week in British politics, with numerous ministers quitting in protest of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s term, ending with Johnson himself announcing his resignation on Thursday.
It also comes after France’s Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, indicated on Wednesday that the country will completely nationalize EDF in order to give the government greater control over the debt-ridden corporation in the midst of Europe’s energy crisis.
“The decision to set the new deadline for this application is without prejudice to the decision on whether to grant or refuse development consent,” Paul Scully, Minister for Small Business, Consumers, and Labour Markets, said in a written statement to parliament late Thursday.
The decision was supposed to be made by July 8, but the deadline has now been pushed out to July 20.
“This is to ensure there is sufficient time to allow the Secretary of State to consider the proposal,” Scully said.
Britain wants to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, which would need a significant expansion in low-carbon power generating technologies such as wind, solar, and nuclear.
Sizewell C, if completed, would be capable of producing 3.2 gigatonnes (GW) of energy, or enough to power around 6 million households.
The delay comes as the government postponed a decision on whether a new coal mine in Cumbria should be constructed, with Johnson sacking the minister in charge of making the decision, Michael Gove.