All posts by Alison Downes

Chancellor rides roughshod over the ability to fight damaging infrastructure

Stop Sizewell C Press Statement 23 September 2022

Kwasi Kwarteng has today laid out plans that will make it more difficult to challenge damaging infrastructure, including Sizewell C. See https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1105989/CCS207_CCS0822746402-001_SECURE_HMT_Autumn_Statement_2022_BOOK_Web_Accessible.pdf

[Page 21] New legislation will be brought forward in the coming months to address barriers by reducing “unnecessary burdens” to speed up the delivery of much-needed infrastructure, including
• reducing the burden of environmental assessments •
 reducing bureaucracy in the consultation process
• reforming habitats and species regulations
• increasing flexibility to make changes to a DCO once it has been submitted.

Sizewell C is included on a list of “infrastructure projects which will be accelerated as fast as possible, aiming to get the vast majority starting construction by the end of 2023.” [Annex B]

Stop Sizewell C said “The idea that reducing the burden of environmental assessments, bureaucracy in the consultation process and reforming habitats and species regulations are appropriate for a project such as Sizewell C – wholly within an AONB, next to Minsmere and surrounded by rare habitats – is deeply dismaying. In any case, a significant proportion of the delays to the Sizewell C planning process have been down to EDF stalling and changing its delivery ideas rather than the planning system. The Chancellor wants to ride roughshod over the ability to fight damaging projects.”

Reaction: Liz Truss’s Energy Statement

Stop Sizewell C Press Statement, 8 September

Stop Sizewell C noticed a few points relevant to Sizewell C and nuclear in Liz Truss’s speech on energy.

She said green levies would be temporarily suspended but gave no indication of how long such a suspension would last – potentially the two years that the energy bill price cap would be frozen for. Sizewell C can only be financed by adding a nuclear levy to struggling households, because the markets won’t touch it without being guaranteed money back during construction. (Nuclear is not green, but a Treasury led public consultation on the “taxonomy” of nuclear energy is expected this autumn.) Does this mean Sizewell C could not start during such a freeze?

She said “Great British Nuclear” would be launched later this month, but Sizewell C is not British. It has been developed by two state-owned entities, EDF and CGN, and EDF will have to manage construction. It’s also likely that overseas funders will be necessary. The UK’s nuclear industry is reliant on overseas uranium. Sizewell B is currently fuelled by enriched uranium from Russia and the fuel for its next outage (ordered before the invasion of Ukraine) is from the same source.

Ms Truss announced a Net Zero review and said the Business Secretary is to set out a plan in the next two months on how to make the UK a net energy exporter by 2040. The UK has been regularly exporting energy to France in recent months given that such a high proportion of French nuclear reactors have been offline.

Ms Truss also said that renewable and nuclear generators would move onto Contracts for Difference which would break the price link with gas, but it is unclear what this might mean for Sizewell C, which is expected to be financed via a Regulated Asset Base

Stop Sizewell C says: “By suspending green levies Liz Truss has backed herself into a corner. Slow, damaging, £30 billion Sizewell C can only be financed by adding a nuclear levy to struggling households, because the markets won’t touch it without being guaranteed money back during construction. Her government’s review of Net Zero should conclude that Sizewell C must be cancelled.”

A Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday shows overwhelming support for renewable energy, with 74% backing investment in solar, 69% in offshore wind, 64% wave and 63% onshore wind and tidal, compared to just 38% for nuclear. A further 69% backed energy efficiency.

Calculations by Professor Steve Thomas of the University of Greenwich Business School for Stop Sizewell C, suggest even optimistic assumptions about inflation and the overall cost of Sizewell C will increase the burden on households well above the government’s estimate of “£1 a month”.

What will our new Prime Minister mean for Sizewell C?

Press Statement, 5 September 2022

Stop Sizewell C says: “If Liz Truss wants to cut green levies on energy bills and avoid being accused of complete hypocrisy, she will have real trouble supporting Boris Johnson’s last-ditch attempts to tie her to Sizewell C. This slow, damaging £30bn project can only be financed by adding a nuclear levy to struggling households, because the markets won’t touch it without being guaranteed money back during construction. The irony is that the government intends to try and re-label nuclear as “green” – which it certainly isn’t – making Liz Truss’s promise even more of a contradiction.”

A Treasury led public consultation on the “taxonomy” of nuclear energy is expected this autumn.

Liz Truss’s dilemma was highlighted by a Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday shows overwhelming support for renewable energy, with 74% backing investment in solar, 69% in offshore wind, 64% wave and 63% onshore wind and tidal, compared to just 38% for nuclear. A further 69% backed energy efficiency.

 

Calculations by Professor Steve Thomas of the University of Greenwich Business School for Stop Sizewell C, suggest even optimistic assumptions about inflation and the overall cost of Sizewell C will increase the burden on households well above the government’s estimate of “£1 a month”.

Press Release, Boris Johnson visits Sizewell

Stop Sizewell C condemns Boris Johnson’s visit and support for Sizewell C, speculating that the blessings of an outgoing Prime Minister may be the kiss of death.

Stop Sizewell said:  

“Like multiple vanity projects such as the Bridge to Northern Ireland and “Boris Island” airport, Sizewell C is another Boris Johnson infrastructure blowout that his successor should consign to the bin. When every penny matters, it’s totally wrong to shackle the next Prime Minister and billions in taxpayers’ money to this damaging project, whose ballooning cost, lengthy construction, failure-prone technology [1] and long term water supply [2] are so uncertain.”

“Sizewell C would not be British, nor secure. It would be developed by an arm of a foreign government, probably with considerable foreign ownership and be reliant on overseas uranium.” [3]

Stop Sizewell C urges Boris Johnson’s successor to totally review the Sizewell C project. Candidate Liz Truss has said she plans to cancel green levies on bills, but if she were to continue to support Sizewell C, it can only be financed if a nuclear levy is added to household bills. 

The burden on households has not yet been revealed. It is likely to be well over the “£1 a month” claimed by BEIS [4] whose calculations ignore inflation. [5] Campaigners speculate that investors will remain wary of risky Sizewell C unless they are guaranteed a generous rate of return during construction. Boris Johnson’s aspiration of eight nuclear projects will massively increase this burden.

The quoted £20 billion cost now appears to be acknowledged as being up to £30 billion, raising the prospects that a greater sum in equity – expected to be approximately one third, with the remainder debt – will be needed. Investors will only be lured to support the project if  the very high risks of overspends are taken on by the government and therefore tax and bill payers. In recent weeks Simon Clarke, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, reportedly expressed concern that the scale of the investment required would significantly affect spending and fiscal choices for an incoming government.

Stop Sizewell C added: “A truly visionary legacy for Boris Johnson would be to ditch Sizewell C, which is most definitely not green, and focus on cheaper, quicker renewables and insulation, which are.”

Protestors plan to greet the Prime Minister with placards reading “Wrong Decision” but “It’s not too late” #StopSizwellC.

Notes

  1. Nuclear projects have a consistent track record of costing more and taking longer to build than planned, especially EDF’s EPR reactor where none have managed to be built to schedule. China’s Taishan I EPR reactor was offline for 12 months because of fuel failure. EDF claims this can be resolved by making the fuel assemblies more robust but the ONR confirmed they were also looking at the circulation of coolant water which is thought to exacerbate the risk of fuel damage. Flamanville continues to be beset by construction problems
  2. In granting Sizewell C planning consent, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng overruled the Planning Inspectorate who did not recommend the project be consented because the long term water supply was not secured.
  3. Sizewell B’s current and next batch of fuel, ordered last year, uses enriched uranium from Russia. The invasion of Ukraine has prompted a “scramble” to secure alternative supplies. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/05/21/scramble-stop-russian-uranium-fuelling-britains-nuclear-power/
  4. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-finance-model-to-cut-cost-of-new-nuclear-power-stations
  5. https://stopsizewellc.org/core/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Updated-RAB-calculations-with-inflation-by-Prof-Steve-Thomas.pdf

 

Stop Sizewell C press coverage, DCO decision 20 July2022

Our resolute reaction to the DCO decision was quoted by:
The Guardian
The Financial Times,
The Daily Telegraph,
The Times,
The Independent,
Daily Mail
Daily Express
Associated Press (picked up by other press)
BBC online news,
Sky online news,
City AM
East Anglian Daily Times,
ITV Anglia online & feature “How Will Sizewell C change Suffolk?”

as well as local radio and TV news broadcasts and multiple industry publications.

Sizewell C planning decision rammed through against Planning Inspectorate concerns

Sizewell C is controversially approved planning consent despite Planning Inspectorate recommending refusal

Contact: Alison Downes, 07711 843884 (WhatsApp), 01728 831099, alison@stopsizewellc.org.

20 July, Suffolk. Campaigners vow to fight on against the controversial Sizewell C project despite Ministers overruling the Planning Inspectorate, who had recommended it should NOT receive planning consent. The Planning Inspectorate had cited uncertainty of water supply and impacts on protected species and habitats as well as multiple other negative impacts. [1]

Stop Sizewell C said: 

“The government has been forced to ram through a damaging project to shore up its energy strategy but the fact that the Planning Inspectorate recommended Sizewell C be refused consent is a huge victory for all of us. The wrong decision has been made but it’s not the end of our campaign to Stop Sizewell C. Not only will we be looking closely at appealing this decision, we’ll continue to challenge every aspect of Sizewell C, because – whether it is the impact on consumers, the massive costs and delays, the outstanding technical questions or the environmental impacts – it remains a very bad risk.“

What’s left of Boris Johnson’s administration should desist from throwing any more cash at Sizewell C or making a Government Investment Decision. It’s deeply concerning, given that households will have to pay for this massively expensive project in times of such hardship, that no one in government is prepared to come clean about how much it will cost to build. [2] How can it be a good use of UK taxpayers funds to support a project promoted by a foreign company having to undergo emergency nationalisation because its own finances are compromised by disastrous nuclear new builds?” [3]

“The political events of recent weeks prove just how quickly things can change, so we are ready to take this seriously flawed project on.”

Campaigners had urged Ministers to delay both the planning decision and any Government Investment Decision [4] until a new Prime Minister is in place. The change in leadership provides an important opportunity for a policy review, especially given this week’s successful legal challenge of the Net Zero Strategy. [5] The preoccupation among leadership candidates with tax cuts and halting green levies on bills [6] is inconsistent with Sizewell C, which would require a nuclear tax on consumers to help meet financing costs during construction, and where build costs, risk and timeframes are high, and difficult to accurately predict. A new Prime Minister and Cabinet should not have their hands tied by a white elephant.

BEIS was forced to farm the decision out to another department after Paul Scully was moved to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on 7 July. The Business Secretary of State and Energy Ministers were unable to make the decision due to their promotion of the project.  Campaigners have expressed concern at the potential for bias and predetermination. [7]

Notes

  1. See https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/eastern/the-sizewell-c-project/
  2. BEIS’s own RAB financing Impact Assessment shows that the cost of a notional power station could be £26 – £43bn with construction times of 13 – 17 years. BEIS has refused to publish a revised cost estimate for Sizewell C but has applied an undisclosed “appropriate uplift” to EDF’s figure of £20bn.
  3. EDF’s parlous financial situation is in part due to Hinkley Point C: its latest cost estimate of £25-26bn (£29.7 – £30.9 billion in 2022 money) is a 38% – 45% increase on the £18bn cost at Final Investment Decision (2016), with 5 years of construction to go. EDF is on the hook for these overruns as China General Nuclear has no obligation to put in any more money than contractually agreed (a 33% share of £18bn). EDF’s Universal Registration Document states (p13): “As the project’s total financing needs exceed the contractual commitment of the shareholders, shareholders will be asked to provide additional equity. This could lead the Group to increase its contribution to the project financing and to increase its stake (currently 66.5%) if its partner [CGN] decided not to contribute to these additional equity commitments’. The French state – with ambitious plans of its own for nuclear power – may have different priorities than Sizewell C.
  4. A planning decision could be followed by further taxpayer-funded financial support for Sizewell C, and possibly a Government Investment Decision, which would confirm a 20% stake in £7 billion of equity (also reported to be £8 billion) alongside 20% stake by EDF, leaving £4 – 5billion in equity to find. The remainder would be debt. 
  5. In a case brought by Friends of the Earth, Client Earth and the Good Law Project, the High Court ruled that the Net Zero Strategy “doesn’t meet the government’s obligations under the Climate Change Act to produce detailed climate policies that show how the UK’s legally-binding carbon budgets will be met…. the government will have to update its climate strategy to include a quantified account of how its policies will achieve climate targets, based on a realistic assessment of what it actually expects them to deliver.”
  6. Eg “The foreign secretary suggested she wanted to look again at policies aimed at achieving the net zero target, vowing to stop the levies which help pay for investment in renewable energy.” 
  7. BEIS confirmed “the Secretary of State will have no role in the decision-making process on the application for development consent (although the decision will be made in the name of ‘the Secretary of State’) due to his involvement in decisions on possible government funding (see reply from the Secretary of State’s Private Office to 36 East Suffolk Parish Councils, June 2022. Kwasi Kwarteng told ‘Today’ on 7 April “we are committed to Sizewell C” and Boris Johnson told BBC Radio Suffolk “we want Sizewell C”. 

 

6 reasons why Sizewell C is still a bad idea and not a done deal

 

  1. Wrong project, wrong place. The RSPB opposes Sizewell C, saying “the likely impact of this particular project could be very damaging. The Suffolk Wildlife Trust is also opposed to Sizewell C. Six hectares of Sizewell Marshes SSSI will be lost forever. Compensatory habitats take decades to establish and may not replicate what is lost. Sizewell C has still not secured a source for 2.2 million litres/day of operational potable water. Flooding, coastal erosion and sea-level rise are concerns on Suffolk’s fast-eroding coast. Sizewell C’s coastal defences would protrude 20m seaward compared to the natural coastline. It will be unsustainable and a threat to the rest of the coast following Sizewell B’s permanent shutdown. Spent fuel would sit on the site for at least 115 years even if a Geological Disposal Facility is built. Suffolk has poor transport infrastructure and EDF has refused to delay starting work on the main construction site until the required new roads are ready. HGV movements are expected to peak at 700/day. East Suffolk has a diverse local economy supported by SMEs and tourism, but the biggest building site in Europe, its traffic and 76% external workforce would destroy existing jobs by driving visitors away and displacing workers from existing businesses. The Suffolk Coast Destination Management Organisation estimates £40m a year of lost tourism income. Sizewell C won’t help ‘level up’ the UK. Sites in the north and west would do more to narrow the economic gap. Of Sizewell C, Lord Deben said: if you believe in levelling up, it’s ridiculous to put it in a place of high employment”.

 

  1. Too Slow and Expensive: BEIS refuses to publish an updated cost estimate for Sizewell C but acknowledges it will cost more than stated by applying an undisclosed “appropriate uplift” to EDF’s figure of £20bn. BEIS’s Impact Assessment, published with the Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill, for a notional power station, contains cost ranges of £26.3bn to £42.8bn with construction times of 13 – 17 years. In June CCC Chair Lord Deben saidEDF has still got two nuclear power stations which aren’t finished…So there’s a real concern with people about how qualified these people are to do these things.” 

 

  1. Consumers carry the (greenwashed) can: Sizewell C would burden consumers and the national budget – at exactly the wrong time for both. Many big (Energy Intensive) companies will be exempt from RAB payments, but poorer families, even those on Universal Credit, will not. The government plans to lure pension funds to invest by re-labelling nuclear as “green”. A Treasury consultation is expected after the summer recess.

 

  1. Not a proven technology. One of the only two operating EPRs, at Taishan in China, has been closed since 31 July 2021 with fuel failure and “hydraulic stresses” (p116). Olkiluoto in Finland is still in testing mode with delivery of electricity to the grid delayed again until December. Flamanville, in France, is still under repair with fuel loading Q2 2023 at the earliest. 

 

  1. Not British, not secure and not needed: Sizewell C would have a foreign reactor design, foreign developers, foreign operators and probably owners, and rely on foreign-sourced fuel. The claim of ‘home-grown’ nuclear is totally misleading. By the time this behemoth project may be completed, at enormous expense, the UK’s energy landscape will be profoundly different, favouring cheaper green energy and green hydrogen. Every pound invested in Sizewell C is a pound diverted from other sources. Multiple future energy scenarios, including three of five by the Climate Change Committee, and National Grid ESO’s “Leading the Way” do not include Sizewell C. New reports reveal how Energy Efficiency could save six nuclear reactors’ worth of power and energy demand in the UK could be reduced 52% by 2050 without compromising on quality of life.

 

  1. Still hurdles to overcome. Sizewell C still needs a site licence and environmental permits. The Environment Agency is running a public consultation on environmental permits from 4 July to 25 September. Secondary legislation is needed for use of RAB for Sizewell C. A Final Investment Decision is expected mid 2023.

Reaction: Secretary of State publishes draft designation reasons for Sizewell C Co.

BEIS has today published draft reasons for designating NNB Generation Co (Sizewell C Co) as the first step towards the company being able to use a RAB funding model. All financial figures have been redacted. The BEIS press statement says “by publishing the draft reasons for designating Sizewell C under the RAB model, the government is going beyond the transparency requirements set out in legislation.”
Stop Sizewell C said: “It’s outrageous that ministers are hiding the cost to electricity bill payers and the public purse of Sizewell C, while claiming to be transparent. By redacting the finances, it is impossible to know if the Secretary of State’s judgement on Value for Money is sound. We fail to understand why the government would not impose conditions related to the EPR reactor technology, when it has such a catastrophic track record, and one of the only working examples has been offline for almost a year in China”
Additionally we note the following:
  • The Secretary of State is intending to designate a company which no one knows who the owners will be. EDF and the government – both apparently intending to be minority partners in Sizewell C with 20% stakes – are continuing to negotiate with each other behind closed doors. The government intends to take a special share in Sizewell C, as a means of “protecting national security interests”, yet there is no mention of removing China General Nuclear from the project.
  • The Value for Money assessment acknowledges that the (secret) figures provided by NNB require “uplift” (page 22 “Given that largescale infrastructure projects have a tendency to cost more and take longer to build than expected, the analysis has applied appropriate uplifts to these assumptions”), and conclude that “the estimated return on government investment is positive in the majority of scenarios modelled” (page 22). With no indication of the size of that majority, or the various cost burdens, it is therefore clear that the return was negative in at least some scenarios. The only cost for Sizewell C in the public domain is the original estimate of £20 billion, published over two years ago. Since then there have been major changes to the project and huge price hikes in construction materials.
  • Despite references to lessons learned at other EPR projects, there are no specific conditions linked to design adaptations that will be required for Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C’s reactors based on the experience of Taishan 1, where problems have led to the reactor being offline for almost a year. (EDF reports, p116 “In addition [to fuel failure], a phenomenon occurring between the assemblies and a component enclosing the core has been identified, which would be linked to hydraulic stresses”  and the French regulator, ASN, refers to (p14) “various anomalies observed on the cores of the EPR reactors of TaishanSuch adaptations could have a serious impact on both cost and timescales. A government condition was attached to an (unused) offer of loan guarantees for Hinkley Point C, that the Flamanville EPR should be operating by December 2020. It is not expected to be operating until mid 2023 at the earliest. Finland’s Olkiluoto EPR is still testing at reduced capacity.
  • The government’s Dynamic Dispatch Model (DDM) methodology is secretive. The modelling should be made public and subjected to proper scrutiny by informed people in order to build the private investor confidence the project requires. Neil Crumpton of PAWB says “The DDM model is too technically and economically simplistic and not sufficiently transparent for robust engineering decision making, due diligence or public scrutiny. Decisions on multi billion projects should not be based on anything like such basis”. 
  • The document contains a number of statements we consider to be prejudicial to the DCO (planning) process, despite the Secretary of State’s claims that another BEIS minister will make that decision, due by 8 July. eg para 134: “The construction of Sizewell C is also expected to have adverse effects on ecology, fisheries and marine water quality. However, some effects will be reduced dependent on successful establishment of replacement habitats. Suffolk County Council, SZC GenCo and East Suffolk Council have agreed a funding package for mitigation and compensation measures in a Deed of Obligation, which includes up to £100m for the environment.”
  • If the Secretary of State wanted more transparency, the legislation provides the option to consult “any other person” but he has rejected this opportunity, limiting the consultation very narrowly to a small group of statutory consultees. Not even the relevant Local Authorities are included. Local communities are dismissed on the grounds that they have been extensively consulted during the DCO process, yet BEIS is well aware of multiple complaints about the poor quality of EDF’s consultations. The government has however published a public consultation on the detail how of how nuclear projects would receive their funding under the RAB model.
  • A reference to Sizewell C contributing to the government’s target of 2 million “green” jobs pre-judges the outcome of a promised UK consultation on the taxonomy of nuclear energy.
  • The BEIS press statement reiterates a claim that a RAB model for Sizewell C would cost consumers on average a pound a month, a figure that has been challenged by Stop Sizewell C working with Professor Steve Thomas, see https://stopsizewellc.org/rab.
  • There are no references to or conditions attached to lessons learned from Ukraine where nuclear sites have been targeted during the conflict.

Hundreds join Sizewell C protest march as planning decision is delayed

15 May, Suffolk: Hundreds of people came together in east Suffolk today to join Stop Sizewell C and Together Against Sizewell C for a colourful, noisy march and rally against Sizewell C. Carrying banners saying “Chaos Coast, coming soon”, “Roadworks (for years) ahead” and “Enjoy Suffolk while you can”, protestors marched from Leiston to Sizewell beach where they were joined at a rally by Adrian Ramsay, Co Leader of the Green Party. 

The march took place just days after Ministers decided to delay the Sizewell C planning decision by over 6 weeks, from 25 May to 8 July, [1] which campaigners take as clear recognition of the project’s many difficult problems including water supply, transport, coastal erosion and biodiversity. [2]

Alison Downes of Stop Sizewell C said: “We have all come here today to show that a decision to go ahead with Sizewell C would be a wrong decision. EDF has clearly not taken this community with them, [3] and the government has totally betrayed the faith of local people in due process by repeated commitments to Sizewell C [4] when it doesn’t have planning consent, let alone a Final Investment Decision. Two wrongs don’t make a right, so where is the sense in copying Hinkley C, badly overrun and overspent [5] using a faulty reactor design that’s been offline in China for the last 10 months?” [6]

Pete Wilkinson, Chair of Together Against Sizewell C said “As we have shown comprehensively in evidence to the government and the planning authorities, the case against Sizewell C is overwhelming. If the Secretary of State dares to approve its construction in the face of that evidence and in the knowledge that nuclear is a declining industry, competes badly with renewables on all fronts [7] and will fail to provide the sort of response required by the existential emergency created by climate change, the government can add dereliction of duty to its charge sheet.”

Adrian Ramsay, co-leader of the Green Party, said: “We face an unprecedented rise in the cost of living. Building a nuclear power station with the kind of subsidy the Government is talking about will lock in raised electricity prices for years to come. Renewably generated electricity is now far, far cheaper and will deliver far more sustainable jobs for Suffolk people and its independent businesses than this expensive white elephant. As the Greens’ parliamentary candidate for villages near this site, I know first hand the strength of opposition locally. Construction will take a decade and generate thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions. The climate crisis needs tackling now, not in a dozen years’ time when Sizewell C may just start operating.”

Other speakers at the rally include district councillors Louise Gooch [Labour, Kirkley & Pakefield] and David Beavan [Liberal Democrat, Southwold, Reydon and Walberswick]. Invitations were extended to two Conservative councillors but they were unavailable.

Photos available here: https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-B9wfx9/  Credit Gregg Brown/Stop Sizewell C & TASC

Notes for Editors

  1. On 12 May Minister Paul Scully said “I have decided to set a new deadline of no later than 8 July 2022 for deciding this application. This is to ensure there is sufficient time to fully consider further information provided by the applicant and interested parties in response to the Secretary of State’s post-examination consultation.” 
  2. For a summary of outstanding issues, see www.stopsizewellc.org/predecision/There is as yet no long-term mains water supply for the plant, which needs an average of 2.2 million litres per day in the driest region of the UK. Potable water for the construction will have to be supplied by a damaging desalination plant. 
  3. In January 2021 Kwasi Kwarteng said “The way in which EDF engages with the local community, particularly in Sizewell C – if that’s the one that gets the green light – is really important because in all of these issues there are always two sides. The onus is on the company developing a project to bring as many people as possible with them”. Sizewell C is facing considerable local opposition and it is also opposed by the RSPB, whose internationally famous Minsmere reserve adjoins Sizewell C, and the Suffolk Wildlife Trust. Part of Sizewell Marshes Site of Scientific Interest would be lost forever. The cooling systems have the potential to trap and kill hundreds of millions of fish and other marine biota annually during each of its 60 years of operation.
  4. On 7 April Kwasi Kwarteng told the “Today” programme “we are committed to Sizewell C”. On 13 May he tweeted “agree Sizewell C” 
  5. EDF is shortly expected to publish details of the extent to which Hinkley Point C will overspend and overrun. This would be the 4th confirmed increase since construction began in 2016 (other increases announced in 2017, 2019 and 2020). Industry claims that making a copy of Hinkley C’s EPR reactors will reduce costs and construction risk are not credible. It is impossible to replicate the location ,and the pattern of delay and overspend has been repeated multiple times at Taishan, Olkiluoto (still not at full operating capacity) and Flamanville – the latter two over a decade late and multiple times overspent.
  6. Taishan I has been offline since July 2021 with fuel failure. Besides the loss of sealing on the fuel rods, EDF also reports (see page 116)In addition, a phenomenon occurring between the assemblies and a component enclosing the core has been identified, which would be linked to hydraulic stresses. Studies are underway on these phenomena and their potential impacts.”
  7. Sizewell C’s 3.2GW of power would cost at least £20bn (this figure is 2 years out of date) compared to an estimated £50bn for 30GW – nine times this capacity – in offshore wind. Investments in Sizewell C would suck vital resources from renewables, energy efficiency or technologies such as green hydrogen storage.