Discover how the Sizewell C project could pave the way for greater water security for Suffolk and develop new low carbon technologies.

Climate change and a growing population mean water supplies are likely to come under even greater strain in the future – unless action is taken.

Sizewell C, the 3.2GW nuclear power station due for construction on the Suffolk coast, is negotiating with Essex and Suffolk Water to help fund the construction of a new 28km water main for East Anglia. This will make a significant contribution towards delivering greater water security for the area.

Eastern Daily Press: Julia Pyke, co-managing director at Sizewell CJulia Pyke, co-managing director at Sizewell C (Image: Sizewell C)

“Once operational, the power station will use less than 0.1% of the total water forecast to be needed in the East of England, while at the same time generating low carbon electricity for around six million homes,” says Julia Pyke, co-managing director of Sizewell C.

“As a result, by the early-2030s the area around Sizewell C is expected to have more water than it needs.”

The water needed for the construction of Sizewell C will come from a temporary desalination plant – a facility that removes salt from sea water – on the main development site, located away from Sizewell Marshes SSSI and Sizewell beach.

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In November, Sizewell announced that it will power the desalination plant with zero carbon electricity from Sizewell B power station: an innovative move that will help further reduce the amount of carbon emissions produced during construction.

“Desalination will also become an important future technology in the UK as the effects of climate change put greater strain on water supplies in rivers and reservoirs, and we expect the technology used at Sizewell to become more widely used elsewhere,” said Julia.

Eastern Daily Press: Sizewell aims to operate a fleet of hydrogen busesSizewell aims to operate a fleet of hydrogen buses (Image: Sizewell C)

Sizewell C is proposing a series of other measures to reduce carbon emissions during and after construction of the power station.

In September, the project announced the purchase of four hydrogen buses from Wrightbus in Ballymena as part of a pilot project to test the vehicles. If the pilot is successful, Sizewell aims to operate a fleet of hydrogen buses to transport its workers to and from the main development site near Leiston.

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The project, which is already set to be one of the biggest net zero projects in the UK, is also developing a Direct Air Capture facility in Lowestoft, which will extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

“As well as improving infrastructure, Sizewell C can be a bridge to some of the future technologies and skills that are essential to Britain’s energy transition,” Julia said.

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Read more about the East of England’s energy industry in the latest issue of Insight Energy.