Campaigners are going on the offensive against plans for two new nuclear reactors on the Suffolk coast – saying “it’s not too late to Stop Sizewell C”.
The new advertising campaign is launched today by Stop Sizewell C, part of a fight-back to highlight the reasons it claims why the £20billion power project should be opposed.
The campaign will include a touring digital “Advan” visiting tourism and leisure hotspots on the Suffolk coast between 10am and 6pm with striking and colourful imagery by award-winning advertising creative Antony Easton and featuring the voices of residents and campaigners, including Bill Nighy, Diana Quick, Bill Turnbull and Charlie Haylock.
New roadside boards will be on display along the B1122 in Theberton and Middleton, a flag is flying from the tower of Theberton Church, and leaflets will be delivered to 17,500 households this week and distributed via local hospitality outlets and rural businesses.
Alison Downes, of Stop Sizewell C, said the campaign was a wake-up call for everyone who thinks Sizewell C is a done deal.
She said: “It doesn’t have planning consent and there is no sign of guaranteed funding; indeed increasing numbers of UK asset managers don’t plan on investing.”
She added that while Sizewell B is forced to stay shut for repairs, renewables are delivering faster and cheaper energy, proving there is a better alternative to Sizewell C, one that is more affordable, greener and better.
Suffolk historian, author and dialect specialist Charlie Haylock, said: “My late father grew up around Leiston and It breaks my heart to think of the damage that building Sizewell C’s two huge nuclear reactors would do to this most beautiful and wildlife-rich part of the country.”
Dr Andy Wood, chief executive of Adnams plc, said: “We’re pleased to support this campaign as Adnams believes the impacts of Sizewell C would be considerable and we are keen to make sure they are understood by everyone who knows and loves this area.”
Thorpeness resident Antony Easton put together the strategy with Stop Sizewell C based around the concept that there are more reasons to oppose Sizewell C than to support it.
He said: “That’s why the multi-page mail drop concertina idea was created, it presents several reasonable arguments at once. It’s not a black and white issue but it doesn’t take much unpicking to see why, one, it should take place in such a vulnerable and infrastructurally weak area and two, that it should take place at all.”
EDF Energy says Sizewell C is vital for the country’s future energy needs but would form part of a mix of different types of power generation. Its plans are currently going through the examination stage of a Development Consent Order application and the company is currently in discussions with government over funding options.
Press Release, 31 May 2021
Stop Sizewell C fights back against EDF propaganda with new ad campaign – “it’s not too late to Stop Sizewell C”
[Suffolk] Stop Sizewell C has today (31 May) launched a new advertising campaign] with the core message that it is not too late to stop the giant nuclear power station, and highlighting the multiple reasons why it should be opposed. The campaign will include a touring digital “Advan” visiting tourism and leisure hotspots on the Suffolk coast between 10am and 6pm. [1. The striking and colourful ad creatives are the work of Antony Easton, an award-winning advertising creative whilst at Saatchi & Saatchi in the 90s, while the campaign video features the voices of residents and campaigners, including Bill Nighy, Diana Quick, Bill Turnbull and Charlie Haylock.
The campaign, which is entirely funded by local people and Stop Sizewell C supporters, will simultaneously launch online on Stop Sizewell C’s social platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Youtube  – and website, www.stopsizewellc.org. In addition, new roadside boards are on display along the B1122 in Theberton and Middleton and a flag is flying from the tower of Theberton Church. Concertina leaflets will be delivered to 17,500 households this week and distributed via local hospitality outlets and rural businesses. Campaign posters are on display in Adnams pubs and beer mats are planned, and an advertisement has been placed in today’s East Anglian Daily Times.
Alison Downes of Stop Sizewell C said “This is a wake up call for everyone who believes EDF’s relentless propaganda and thinks Sizewell C is a done deal. It doesn’t have planning consent and there is no sign of guaranteed funding; indeed increasing numbers of UK asset managers don’t plan on investing.  While Sizewell B is forced to stay shut over recently discovered safety issues,  renewables are delivering faster and cheaper, proving there is a better alternative to Sizewell C, one that is more affordable, greener and better overall for this beautiful part of our country.” 
Suffolk historian, author and dialect specialist Charlie Haylock, who is with the roadshow this morning said “My late father grew up around Leiston and It breaks my heart to think of the damage that building Sizewell C’s two huge nuclear reactors would do to this most beautiful and wildlife-rich part of the country. The initials EDF should stand for Enormous Dangerous Folly, and if Sizewell C did go ahead ‘an Expensive Dangerous Fiasco’. I’ve thrown my full support behind the Stop Sizewell C campaign to help raise awareness of this threat, and show people it’s not too late to make a difference.”
Dr Andy Wood, CEO of Adnams plc said: “We’re pleased to support this campaign as Adnams believes the impacts of Sizewell C would be considerable and we are keen to make sure they are understood by everyone who knows and loves this area.”
Thorpeness resident Antony Easton put together the strategy with Stop Sizewell C based around the concept that there are more reasons to oppose Sizewell C than to support it. “That’s why the multi-page mail drop concertina idea was created, it presents several reasonable arguments at once. It’s not a black and white issue but it doesn’t take much unpicking to see why, one, it should take place in such a vulnerable and infrastructurally weak area and two, that it should take place at all.”
“EDF’s behaviour suggests Sizewell C is a fait accomplis but the government has yet to sanction it and we feel that – as David to their Goliath – we need to be heard. I felt it was important to engage local opinion, to give people the courage and some arguments to be able to say ‘no’. We put the creatives together for nothing and the distribution is being funded by a growing number of concerned individuals. Volunteering to help was the least I could do.”
“The look of the ads was inspired by the 1970s ‘Nuclear Energy? No Thanks’ campaign. It stands out because the copy is confrontational and the colours are vivid and in your face.”
Stop Sizewell C is additionally grateful to Toby Andersen for audio and Steve Sutton for editing work on this campaign.
- Provisional Schedule/Locations. Call 07711 843884 for our exact location.
Aldeburgh, 10.30 – 11.45am; Seafront, near the Moot Hall.
Sizewell, 12 noon – 1pm; Beach car park.
Thorpeness 1pm – 1.45; Call Alison 07711 843884 for exact location
Dunwich 2.45 – 3.30pm; Beach carpark
Walberswick 4 – 4.45pm; Beach carpark
Southwold 5 – 6pm. High street opposite the Post Office.
In addition the Advan will drive up the A12 from Ipswich, through Snape, Leiston, Saxmundham, Kelsale, Yoxford, Theberton, Middleton, Westleton and Blythburgh.
- See @StopSizewellC on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube
- It has been calculated that 30GW of offshore wind could be delivered by 2030 at a cost of £50bn. This is the equivalent of nine Sizewell C’s for only two and half times the money. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/oct/06/powering-all-uk-homes-via-offshore-wind-by-2030-would-cost-50bn
A businessman has changed his mind about building a new nuclear power plant at Leiston — branding the plan “bad for Suffolk”.
Saxmundham-based William Kendall — a past high sheriff of Suffolk and an organic farmer — said he was in favour of the project until about two years ago.
He was shown around EDF’s Sizewell B plant while he was high sheriff and was impressed with how it was operated, he said.
But after he visited a Sizewell C roadshow two years ago and found friends and neighbours visibly upset by the plans and the potential disruption they would cause, he decided to take a deeper look.
“I am an environmentalist and was led to believe that the only way we can tackle climate change fast enough is to build some interim nuclear energy capacity,” said Mr Kendall.
The entrepreneur has been involved in various business projects over many years. He was previously behind well-known food brands such as Green and Black’s organic chocolate and Covent Garden Soup before selling up, and is currently a director of online grocer Farmdrop and a trustee of the Grosvenor Estate, which is owned by the Grosvenor family.
“I had misgivings. I took my then 17-year-old daughter to Chernobyl on holiday some years ago to look at the wildlife but you can’t fail to see the downsides of nuclear energy when you are there,” he explained.
“We hope it is much safer here but there are still no proposals to deal with the waste that will be highly toxic for thousands of years, other than to bury it in our fast-eroding coastline.”
EDF insist the project will be good for both the environment and the local economy providing opportunities for people for many years.
But Mr Kendall said he listened to both sides of the argument and looked again at the plans and talked to local people and businesses, as well as groups such as Suffolk Wildlife Trust, the National Trust and RSPB, he said.
“I am now completely convinced that Sizewell C will be bad for Suffolk. It will destroy many more jobs than it creates. I haven’t spoken to any employers who live here who think it is good idea for the area once they have fully understood the plans, which is why opposition is growing as we all finally wake up to what is proposed,” he said.
“I do know a few employers who support the plan because they think it happens to suit their business but they can’t explain to me why it is good for the economy and community as a whole. We should make decisions around the best interests of the whole not just a few.”
The main reason he had heard in favour of the scheme was new jobs — but he argued it could have an adverse effect on existing jobs and businesses.
The area had high employment and while there were problems attracting higher paid posts, things were improving, he claimed.
“We need some long term interventions to help those families who struggle to acquire the right skills and means to get on the employment ladder and we need to encourage better training for the future. All that said our local economy is doing pretty well,” he said.
“Parts of it are booming. The tourist industry has taken a hit because of Covid-19 but is expecting a big surge this summer and I see investment in higher standards and more facilities in this sector wherever I go.”
Many farms in his area had tourism sidelines and there was a construction boom — with recruitment the main problem, he said.
“They are desperate and this is beginning to impact on the investment plans for businesses in other sectors. I can think of several things we have put on hold simply because we know we won’t find suitable contractors any time soon.
“EDF talks about investing in skills and I am sure it would for the few people it actually needs once the power station is built but we know that they will try to recruit anyone they can with any necessary skills when it comes to building the power station. Of course the vast majority of workers will be brought in from elsewhere.”
He feared the project would have knock-on effects for other employers’ developments plans which would be halted “for nearly a decade”.
A huge drop in the cost of alternative energy sources also weakened the practical argument for nuclear, he argued.
“There are new breakthroughs every day. Meanwhile the cost of old nuclear just seems to go up and up,” he said.
If government advisers continued to argue one more nuclear plant was needed in the medium term, it should go where employment is truly needed, he said.
The local economy had changed out of all recognition from the days when it was earmarked for its first nuclear station, he pointed out.
“There are parts of Britain, on our west coast like Cumbria and Anglesey, where things aren’t going nearly so well and where the local people apparently do want another nuclear power station. If it is really true that we do need one more and the United Kingdom really thinks it is worth the huge cost then they should get the investment.”
He admitted it had taken him two years to get his “head straight” on the complicated issue, but had been lucky to meet many experts and Whitehall civil servants and government ministers.
“We live in an age where we have to be for or against things when debates are much more complicated. I hate that. There may be a few quite good reasons to build Sizewell C but I have found many more why we shouldn’t. That is why I am opposed to it now.”
A spokeswoman for Sizewell C said nuclear power stations have been delivering reliable electricity and providing long-term rewarding employment in Suffolk for decades and plans for Sizewell C will mean that can continue.
“In the fight against climate change we need more nuclear and renewable generation to replace fossil fuels and those low carbon stations reaching the end of operation,” she said.
“Sizewell C is supported by business organisations across the region. The station will create thousands of local jobs and apprenticeships and a boost in a range of skills. We have plans in place that will ensure local people can make the most of the opportunities that will become available.”
Press statement, 13 May 2021
At today’s Prudential AGM, Chair Baroness Vadera stated in response to a question from Stop Sizewell C; “As an Asia and Africa focused group going forward, Sizewell is highly unlikely to be the sort of project we will directly invest in.”  The reply followed Aviva reiterating at its AGM last week that the ESG impact of nuclear is “at this time still far from clear” and confirming they are not actively involved in any such investments.  Earlier in the year, Legal & General told a pension fund holder that they will not be investing in Sizewell C. 
Environmental, social and governance issues are all flagged by the Sizewell C project, in addition to the reputational risk attached to such a controversial investment. EDF’s financial advisers Rothschild & C recently said: “[Funds] are worried about what their ultimate investors think, what their pensioners think (if it’s a pension fund) or their savers… These are going to be big, high-profile investments that investors do not want to be controversial.”  EDF acknowledges in its 2020 financial report that Sizewell C depends on “the existence of an appropriate regulatory and financing framework, and on the sufficient availability of investors and funders interested in the project. To date, none of these conditions are met.” 
Alison Downes said: “Government should take note that big investors are shying away from Sizewell C, even with the proposed RAB mechanism, where consumers and government would be made to shoulder much of the risk. It would be better for the Government, and the UK’s net zero ambitions, to focus on green, more sustainable, cheaper and quicker energy projects, and consign Sizewell C to the dark ages where it belongs.”
UK Minister Lord Grimstone recently said he was speaking to “all” sovereign wealth and overseas pension funds about investing in UK energy infrastructure but also admitted to the Financial Times “it’s by no means certain this country is going to be building large nuclear power stations”.
Stop Sizewell C maintains the project would conflict with Pension Funds’ ESG policies for the following reasons:
Sizewell C is not needed. The Climate Change Committee included just 5GW in three out of five energy scenarios in its 6th carbon budget, achievable by completing Hinkley Point C and extending the life of Sizewell B.  National Infrastructure Commission Chair Sir John Armitt has said “Hopefully by 2025, we will be able to rely on much smarter systems and won’t have to rely on nuclear”. CCC Chair Lord Deben says the need for nuclear reduces as grid balancing improves. 
Sizewell C cannot help the UK’s new target of 78% reduction in emissions by 2035. EDF has increased its prediction of CO2 emitted during the construction period from 5.7Mt (May 2020) to 6.3Mt (January 2021). EDF admits this would take 6 years to pay back, assuming the equivalent energy was generated by the expected energy mix of the 2030s. With an estimated start date of 2034, Sizewell C would not therefore contribute to net zero until 2040.  Since EPR reactors are slow to build and prone to delays – with the few reactors under construction well over budget and overrun  – the UK will likely have completed the energy transition by the time Sizewell C is finished.
The RAB model would transfer construction risk to consumers and contribute to fuel poverty, with consumers paying up front for a decade before any energy is generated. It’s unclear whether or how they would get their money back if Sizewell C was abandoned before completion, as US nuclear projects have been. 
Sizewell C’s 3.2GW of power would cost at least £20 billion compared to an estimate of £50bn by Aurora Energy Research for 30GW – nearly ten times this capacity – in offshore wind.  Investment in Sizewell C would suck vital resources from renewables or future technologies such as green hydrogen storage.
Nuclear energy is not green. There is still no long-term solution to the storage of nuclear waste. The spent fuel from the EPR high burn-up reactor is hotter than other reactors and would need to stay on the eroding Suffolk coastline for a century. 
Ownership of Sizewell C is unclear. With EDF likely to be reduced to a very small stake or build- only contract, future governance is very murky. The government must decide what, if any, role EDF’s controversial development partner – China General Nuclear – would be allowed to play.
The Sizewell C site is surrounded by protected wildlife habitats. It is wholly within the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Construction would cut the AONB in half for a decade. The site adjoins internationally famous RSPB Minsmere reserve, and part of Sizewell Marshes Site of Scientific Interest with its rare fen habitat would be lost forever.
There is considerable local opposition. Communities would have to bear the brunt of impacts including an extra 12,000 vehicles a day and an influx of 6,000 workers into the area.
Stop Sizewell C videod the question and response which is available on request. The question, tabled by Alison Reynolds (Downes) was “ I applaud Prudential’s commitment to addressing climate change and looking to support future technologies, but the Sizewell C nuclear project cannot help the UK reach 78% reductions in CO2 by 2035. It has a 10+ year build time, even without delays, for which the EPR nuclear reactors are notorious. According to EDF’s own calculations, Sizewell C would not offset the CO2 emitted during construction for a further 6 years, ie around 2040. Besides radioactive waste and safety issues other ESG concerns include the dependency upon consumers to pay a RAB tariff to facilitate the risky £20 billion pound construction, for years before any electricity is generated; governance questions about ownership of the project, including China’s involvement; and impacts on the internationally protected wildlife habitats and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that the site is within. Sizewell C is a highly controversial project, and investing in it could damage Prudential’s reputation so I ask for your confirmation that you will not invest in Sizewell C. “
Stop Sizewell C also has video of this reply which is available on request. See also https://www.telegraph.co.uk/
business/2021/02/06/aviva- fears-environmental-fallout- backs-new-nuclear-reactors/
Sunday Telegraph, 20 February: Sizewell C proves to be a turn-off for City giant Legal & General.
Stephen Vaughan at a recent World Nuclear Association webinar, as reported by World Nuclear News
EDF 2020 Annual Report, page 15. (Note that consumers are not considered.) “Securing the appropriate risk-sharing mechanism and ultimately the corresponding financing structure ahead of the FID is therefore key for the project, the UK Government and the current shareholders. EDF’s ability to make a FID on Sizewell C and to participate in the financing of this project beyond the development phase could depend on the operational control of the Hinkley Point C project, on the existence of an appropriate regulatory and financing framework, and on the sufficient availability of investors and funders interested in the project. To date, none of these conditions are met.“
Sixth Carbon Budget. The 5GW including the life extension of Sizewell B is acknowledged by BEIS
See Page 27 of EDF’s (revised) application for Development Consent
Flamanville in France and Olkiluoto in Finland are both a decade late and multiple times overspent. Hinkley Point is both late and several £billion overspent.
A RAB-type model for a cancelled plant in the US is costing ratepayers $2.3bn.
As reported in The Guardian, October 2020.
Sizewell C’s spent fuel store would not be decommissioned until 2140.
Sizewell C proves to be a turn-off for City giant Legal & General
Legal & General has ruled out helping to fund the new Sizewell C nuclear power plant, dealing a blow to EDF as it seeks backers for the £20bn project.
EDF is in negotiations with the government about taxpayer support for the planned plant in Suffolk but will also need institutional investors, which it argues can make stable returns over the decades of a reactor’s life.
L&G has not spoken publicly about its plans but in a written response to a pension-holder, one of its investment service consultants said: “I have had it confirmed that Legal & General will not be investing in the Sizewell C nuclear power plant.” L&G declined to comment further.
It comes after Aviva Investors expressed concerns about the potential ESG (environmental, social and governance) risks of nuclear power. It said the ESG impact of nuclear was “far from clear at this time.”
The government is relying on nuclear power to help reach its legally binding target of cutting carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, but investors also need to get comfortable with radioactive waste management, water usage, and the remote but catastrophic risks of a nuclear accident.
L&G, which has more than £1trn assets under management, has invested more than £1.3bn towards low-carbon energy sources such as solar panels and ground source heat pumps.
EDF’s discussions over financing for Sizewell C come at a critical time for the UK’s nuclear sector. Most of the UK’s ageing reactors are set to come offline by 2030, but the only replacement plant currently being built is Hinkley Point C in Somerset, by EDF and its Chinese partner CGN.
Critics argue large scale nuclear power plant have had their day given the growing competitiveness of wind and solar plants, and emerging technologies such as small-modular nuclear reactors. L&G’s boss Nigel Wilson reportedly described Hinkley in 2016 as a “£25bn waste of money”.
But backers insist large plants are a much-needed source of reliable, low-carbon energy. Sizewell C has previously stressed the plant will “vast amounts of very low-carbon energy” with a small footprint compared to other sources of sustainable energy. It adds nuclear is “one of the safest forms” of producing electricity, and the project will bring thousands of jobs and significant investment into Suffolk.
Stop Sizewell C, which is campaigning against the proposed plant in Suffolk, said: “Nuclear giga-watt projects are categorically not green […] They are expensive and slow to build, with overruns almost guaranteed… Compared to responsibly delivered renewable energy there is no contest.”
Read more: Sizewell C – the £20bn nuclear question
One of Britain’s biggest investors has cast doubt over whether it would back new nuclear power stations due to environmental concerns.
Aviva Investors said nuclear’s ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) impact was “far from clear at this time”, even as the Government backs the technology to help cut carbon emissions.
Its comments highlight the challenge facing French state power giant EDF as it seeks finance for the planned £20bn Sizewell C reactor in Suffolk. EDF is in talks with the Government over public backing, but will also need to attract institutional investors.
Nuclear power does not generate carbon dioxide but investors also need to be comfortable with the management of nuclear waste, water usage, and the remote but catastrophic risk of a nuclear accident.
In response to queries from investors, Aviva Investors said: “As you are probably aware, the UK Government is looking at expanding nuclear capacity as part of its efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
“We consider the potential ESG impact in all of our investment decisions. However, the ESG impact of nuclear is far from clear at this time and we are not actively involved in any such investments.”
A spokesman for Sizewell C said there was a “compelling ESG case for nuclear” given its vast production of low-carbon energy.
He added: “It is one of the safest forms of producing electricity, with a good track record in managing radioactive waste. The social benefits of Sizewell C include thousands of jobs, 1,500 apprenticeships and huge investment in the regional economy.”
The campaign group Stop Sizewell C said Aviva was “right to be concerned”. The Sizewell C site is particularly sensitive as it is within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, next to the Minsmere nature reserve, and takes in part of the Sizewell Marshes, designated a site of special scientific interest.
A Stop Sizewell C spokesman added the social benefits would be “severely undermined locally” by EDF’s plans to bring to Sizewell workers currently building EDF’s Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset.