Dr Andy Wood, chief executive of Adnams Southwold, argues that building the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station will not create ‘boom times’ for Suffolk and there are better and cheaper ways to create new jobs.
Suffolk Community Foundation’s latest report on our county’s Hidden Needs makes for some heart-breaking reading.
Whether it is somebody in an isolated village with no transport or a young person from a family where multi-generational unemployment is the norm, or someone old and lonely, this report highlights that targeted and often complex solutions are called for.
It reminds us that spending money to create long-term new jobs may be good for the economy but will not necessarily benefit everyone and not necessarily those that have been left behind. We should be wary of suggestions that the “boom times” are just around the corner because of a major construction project such as the proposed new nuclear power station at Sizewell.
Leiston, host to Sizewell A and B, was described by Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership in this newspaper earlier this month as “a significantly deprived population with higher levels of childhood obesity, tooth decay and smoking [with] little social mobility.”
If it ever found the funding, and overcame numerous objections locally and nationally, Sizewell C should create 900 new long-term jobs according to EDF, at a total cost of £20 billion. That’s over £22 million per new job. A fraction of this sum invested in the sort of solutions required to alleviate Suffolk’s hidden needs would have a much bigger impact and leave plenty of change to create new long-term careers in sectors which are much more suited to this county’s significant strengths, such as in tourism, offshore wind and IT to name a few.
Whilst we were told in the Prime Minister’s 10-Point Plan that the government was supportive of large nuclear projects, this is not unconditional. Tucked away in background materials is the phrase “subject to value for money”. That is key to my own and others’ opposition to Sizewell C.
Sizewell C would be the biggest construction site in Europe, adding 12,000 vehicles each day to the A12. EDF has made no secret of its need to save money and reduce the significant risks of a complicated build by using the Hinkley Point supply chain and workforce. 6,000 relocated workers will need accommodation, pushing up rents and house prices for local people, especially those in lower cost housing. Many of the remaining workers are expected to travel from 90 minutes away – not exactly local and well outside the county.
EDF admits many hundreds would be displaced from existing employers, causing recruitment problems. Meanwhile, independent studies found that up to £40 million would be lost to our valuable tourism industry each year of construction. With a build time in excess of a decade when its technology is highly likely to have been superseded, is this really worth the risk to Suffolk and its communities?
It would be wrong to object to Sizewell C without either evidence of its impacts or offer alternative solutions. Of course, our young people deserve training and the opportunity of a rewarding career, but Sizewell C is not the only option. This part of Suffolk needs more well-paid, long term jobs which work with the grain of the existing economy rather than threatening it.
Both public and private sector leaders need to come together to celebrate the area’s many strengths and help it to remove remaining barriers so that it becomes the best place to start a new business. Small and medium-sized businesses create most of the new, long term employment opportunities in our area and there is huge potential for these to expand and grow. Many exploit ideas and technologies which do not depend on being in cities to succeed and Suffolk, with all its amenities, has much to offer.
Local estate agents have reported a tide of interest from city dwellers who already realise this and want to bring their own business ideas to less-congested counties like Suffolk.
There are significant opportunities linked to our green recovery. Investment in offshore wind, responsibly delivered to shore, is going to bring us much cheaper energy and many more jobs in the medium and long term than the eye-wateringly expensive Sizewell C.
The green think tank e3g has calculated that labour intensive tasks like insulating homes can cut CO2 emissions and create jobs at a fraction of the cost of Sizewell C.
Despite EDF’s many years and millions of pounds spent persuading us that Sizewell C will be good for Suffolk, more and more of us are realising that the opposite is true.
We have no issue with the existing Sizewell B, but it is time we fought back against a proposal which will damage existing jobs and could ruin the place upon which so many of our livelihoods are founded. It is not too late to stop Sizewell C.
Top-level talks on funding for Sizewell C but no green light yet
PUBLISHED: 17:28 18 November 2020 | UPDATED: 19:04 18 November 2020
Campaigners said opposition was “strong and growing” and the government’s financial commitment to nuclear was a “drop in the ocean” compared with Sizewell C’s cost.
Mr Johnson said £525 million would be earmarked to help develop “large and smaller-scale nuclear plants”, and research and develop new advanced modular reactors. This could support 10,000 jobs in total.
Sizewell C managing director Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson said “Sizewell C is the only large scale nuclear project ready to begin construction. It will deliver the always-on low-carbon power Britain needs.
“Sizewell C will be a great British project: It will copy the UK-adapted design being built at Hinkley Point C, with 70% of the value of engineering and construction contracts going to suppliers based in this country, and can be majority owned by British investors. When it gets the go-ahead, it will create thousands of jobs.
“Sizewell C builds on the great progress being made by UK nuclear at Hinkley Point C and, as a direct copy, it can benefit from lower construction and financing costs.
“We look forward to moving ahead quickly with the Government on an innovative funding arrangement to achieve best value for money for consumers.”
Alison Downes, from Stop Sizewell C, said: “Despite heavy briefing by EDF and the nuclear industry, the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan has not yet given a green light to Sizewell C, nor any suggestion on how it might be funded.
“The pledge of £525m to be split between large, small and advanced reactors is a drop in the ocean compared to the £20billion cost of Sizewell C.
“Of course, we continue to wait for the Energy White Paper, but Sizewell C remains a ridiculously expensive project that won’t contribute to net zero until at least 2040, won’t help ‘level up’ the UK and threatens RSPB Minsmere. Quite simply, Sizewell C has no place in a truly green recovery and there is still time for the government to realise this.”
Charles Macdowell, also from Stop Sizewell C, added: “If EDF were hoping the Prime Minister’s announcement would give the go-ahead to Sizewell C, they will be sorely disappointed.
“Even with the PM’s restatement of his support for nuclear energy, history has shown that it isn’t easy to deliver on political promises to build such projects. Nuclear may be the third point in the PM’s plan but it is neither green nor clean.”
EDF says Sizewell C – if given the go-ahead – could be contrubuting to net zero by the early 2030s and woudl continue to do so as electricity demand increases substantially due to electrification of heat, transport and industry – roughly doubling from today’s level.
Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) said the Prime Minister’s plan was “lacking imagination, ambition or vision” and called for a programme which commits to at least 80% power generated by renewables by 2030, mandatory solar panels on new homes and buildings, a comprehensive programme for retrofitting of buildings to make them more energy efficient, a scrapping of the National Grid and a more radical shake up of the way electricity is generated and distributes.
TASC chair and deputy chair of the Sizewell Stakeholder Group, Pete Wilkinson said: “Whatever you were hoping for in the statement, it’s likely that you’ll be disappointed. The Tory government has been in labour for years and has produced a mouse. An opportunity to show vision, imagination and to lay the groundwork for how it sees the ‘build back better’ programme unfold has been squandered.
“Large-scale nuclear can only mean Sizewell, Bradwell and possibly a revived interest in Wylfa, all of which, as Treasury knows only too well, will need funding from sources other than EdF which is hugely in debt and has admitted it does not have the funds to complete a £20bn Sizewell project.
“Support for small modular reactors (SMRs) offers a handout to Rolls Royce for the development of reactors which are untried, unlicenced and which will require complicated planning approvals if they are to be used close to centres of population to make use of their district heating potential from waste heat. It’s unlikely that communities will accept the generation of nuclear waste and live with the risk of a nuclear accident on a ‘local’ basis. SMRs are yet another attempt to throw a lifeline to the failing nuclear industry at the public’s expense and represent another nuclear expensive punt more in hope than expectation.
“We are pleased that, despite heavy lobbying by EDF and the nuclear industry cheerleaders, Sizewell C has not been given the green light but we are mindful of the fact that the government is yet to publish its energy White Paper. We call on the government to reject the nuclear option in that paper and to recognise that nuclear’s climate change credentials have time and again been roundly demonstrated to be greatly overstated. Even Secretaries of State continue to claim it is a ‘zero carbon’ source of electricity, which it is not.”
More rail and sea deliveries proposed for Sizewell C, but opponents hit out
PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 November 2020 | UPDATED: 08:47 18 November 2020
Consultation has been launched today on a series of proposed changes to the plans for Sizewell C – which EDF Energy says would take hundreds of lorries a day off Suffolk’s roads during its construction.
As revealed last month, the company wants to increase substantially the amount of materials being delivered by rail and sea, cutting by 20% the amount travelling by road if the twin reactor nuclear power station is given the go-ahead.
Opponents though say it is “laughable” it has taken so long for changes to be made to the strategy for delivering construction materials – after years of protests.
And they claim EDF is still not disclosing important offshore survey results which are “critical” for its second beach landing facility plans.
Richard Bull, head of transport planning for Sizewell C, said: “Following feedback from East Suffolk and Suffolk County Councils, and from responses to our Development Consent Order (DCO) proposals, we have continued to investigate ways to increase rail and sea deliveries.
“We have been able to identify more of our required material from areas with good rail and sea connections. There is now potential to reduce the total amount of material being moved by road to around 40%.
“If this can be achieved it will be possible to reduce HGV numbers on an average typical day at the peak of construction to 250 (500 two-way movements) and 350 HGVs (700 two-way movements) on the busiest day. This represents a reduction of 150 HGVs on the very busiest day (300 two-way movements) compared to the numbers in the DCO submission.”
Documents issued today in connection with the 30-day consultation say the company is looking at building a beach landing facility for the delivery of large loads by sea and a second temporary landing facility.
Talks are ongoing with Network Rail to see how many extra trains could run.
Options being considered include running four trains (seven overnight movements) rather than three trains (five overnight movements); using five trains a day during the busiest period of construction; and running trains six days a week (Monday to Saturday). Mr Bull said: “We fully understand the concerns about noise on the East Suffolk Line – particularly for overnight freight deliveries. We are investigating continuous welded rail lines, the use of slower speeds and the types of trains that could be used to keep noise to a minimum.”
To cut the amount of materials needing to be moved, EDF would reduce the volume of material that needs to be moved away from the site by using it as fill or for landscaping. Rail and sea will be used “where practicable” and where road remains necessary the aim will be to ensure reduced local impacts via the use of defined routes and systems to control the number and timing of HGV movements.
Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, Sizewell C managing director, said: “We take the feedback from the councils, MPs and local people extremely seriously and would like to make these updates to our proposals in good time so they can be considered by the planning inspectorate and all interested parties during the next phase of this process.
“We hope these changes will give even greater confidence to local communities that the benefits of this project for Suffolk will far outweigh the potential impacts during construction.”
But Paul Collins, chair of Stop Sizewell C, said: “It’s laughable that it has taken almost 1,300 responses to EDF’s DCO application, and the opposition of the county council and scores of parishes and four previous consultation stages for EDF to begin to listen about HGV traffic and site access.
“EDF is still not making public its surveys of the offshore Sizewell Dunwich Banks – critical for its proposals for a second Beach Landing Facility and its sea defences – nor its evidence over how much CO2 will be emitted during construction.”
Mr Collins said residents were also unhappy at having received more letters for fields and gardens needed in connection with road infrastructure plans, which he described as “land grab”.
Nature experts in Suffolk are also angry over the proposals for the £20billion Sizewell C project – and say they would be “catastrophic” for the county’s wildlife-rich and fragile coast.
EDF Energy has outlined changes to its plans which it says will reduce the use of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty by using brownfield land for critical buildings that need to be moved, and also to create more fen meadow.
However, the Suffolk Wildlife Trust is still opposing the plans – which are currently before the Planning Inspectorate – and says the development would be “devastating for nature”.
This week the Government has announced ‘greater protections for England’s iconic landscapes’ and has promised to designate more AONB and “to protect and restore our natural environment and diverse ecosystems”.
SWT says Sizewell C would destroy or damage an area the size of around 900 football pitches – 500 hectares – in the middle of the officially designated Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB, while a Special Area of Conservation, Special Protection Area and a RAMSAR site would also be impacted.
The land includes nationally rare wildlife habitats such as heathland, oak woods, sand dunes, shingle, fen, marsh, reedbed and natural grassland, home to many rare plants, insects, and birds such as barn owl, marsh harrier and kingfisher, and mammals such as water vole.
Christine Luxton, chief executive of Suffolk Wildlife Trust, said: “Sizewell C would destroy a vast swathe of the Suffolk coastline in one of the most beautiful natural parts of the UK. People visit this part of Suffolk from all over the country to enjoy the wild countryside. If this vast development gets the go-ahead, an area of the coast the size of 900 football pitches will be directly affected by the development. Barn owls, water voles and kingfishers will see their habitat destroyed.
“Nature is already in huge trouble and the sheer scale of this development will make a bad situation much, much worse. We will not solve the climate crisis by destroying natural habitats that lock-up carbon. This is the wrong time and the wrong place for such a colossal and damaging development.
“We do not believe it would be possible to make up for the damage Sizewell C would cause to the natural world on this extraordinarily beautiful stretch of coastline.
“We are deeply concerned that the suggested mitigation and compensation would never balance the huge loss to biodiversity and the impacts on our protected sites and species. Whilst compensation sites can be vital to offset any habitat destruction, they cannot replace the higher value of long-established sites with a rich mosaic of species.
“At a time of climate and ecological emergency, we need to find truly sustainable solutions which do not add to the problem by destroying internationally and nationally-important wild places for nature.”
The latest changes proposed by EDF’s consultation include an additional site as further mitigation for a small loss of fen meadow habitat on the SSSI. Along with the existing sites at Benhall and Halesworth, a site near Pakenham in West Suffolk has been identified for a project to enhance the biodiversity of the land.
Other changes include a proposed redesign of the SSSI crossing to a 30m long single-span bridge with embankments. The bridge design would retain “significantly more space” around the Leiston Drain and reduce the amount of SSSI land take. It would provide additional flood relief and greater connectivity for species including water voles, otters and bats, helping wildlife populations.
Katy McGuinness, environment planning manager for Sizewell C, said projects like Aldhurst Farm nature reserve and the Studio Field complex at Sizewell Gap had been developed already with the aim of mitigating the impact building Sizewell C could have on wildlife in and around the temporary construction area.
She added: “Taking inspiration from a similar project in Dorset, we intend to establish an independent Environmental Trust to manage the ongoing re-wilding and biodiversity of the growing Sizewell estate. We will commit to contributing to the Trust every year during the operation of Sizewell C, with a view to expanding and connecting further parcels of land identified for re-wilding and habitat creation.”
PM’s 10 point plan offers no green light for Sizewell C, but campaigners reject large nuclear’s inclusion in a green industrial revolution
[SUFFOLK] Campaigners and local communities were buoyed today that there was no green light given to Sizewell C – despite earlier reports – in the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a green industrial revolution. The plan, which included broad points but was lacking in detail, restated the government’s existing support for nuclear energy and announced £525 million in funding towards large and small reactors, including research and development for new advanced modular reactors.
Reacting to the 10 Point Plan, Stop Sizewell C  representatives said:
Alison Downes: “Despite heavy briefing by EDF and the nuclear industry, the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan has given no green light to Sizewell C, nor any specifics about how it would be funded. £525 million split between large, small and advanced reactors is a drop in the ocean compared to the £20 billion cost of Sizewell C. Of course we continue to wait for the Energy White Paper, but Sizewell C remains a ridiculously expensive project that won’t contribute to net zero until at least 2040, won’t help ‘level up’ the UK and threatens RSPB Minsmere.  Quite simply, Sizewell C has no place in a truly green recovery and there is still time for the government to realise this.”
Charles Macdowell: “If EDF were hoping this announcement would give the go-ahead to Sizewell C, they will be sorely disappointed. Even with the Prime Minister’s restatement of his support for nuclear energy, history has shown that it isn’t easy to deliver on political promises to build such projects.  Nuclear may be the third point in the PM’s plan but Sizewell C is neither green nor clean, and conflicts with his ninth point of “protecting and restoring our natural environment”, given the threats it poses to Suffolk’s internationally-famous wildlife habitats.”
Paul Collins: “The Prime Minister’s announcement coincides with EDF launching yet more consultations in an attempt to make their proposals more palatable.  The primary focus is traffic and, whilst all improvements are welcome – should Sizewell C ever go ahead – EDF have grossly misunderstood the views of local people if it thinks reducing HGVs will appease us. We are alarmed at the major concerns of Government agencies  and the unsuitability and sensitivity of the site next to protected habitats and on an eroding coastline makes any argument in favour of construction as a means of economic recovery frankly insulting. Moreover, this may be the last outing for this failed reactor design. EDF is already designing a simpler, cheaper version of the EPR for France, leaving the UK with a design that no one else wants.  Sizewell C is simply the wrong project in the wrong place.”
Opposition to Sizewell C is strong and growing as the impacts on local communities and the environment of the 10-12 year build become clearer, alongside concerns that EDF’s claims of economic benefit are unproven.  Sizewell C is opposed by Suffolk MP Dan Poulter, thousands of individuals,  organisations such as the RSPB and Suffolk Wildlife Trust, and dozens of Town and Parish Councils including Aldeburgh and Woodbridge. Suffolk County Council has stated it “cannot support” EDF’s proposals. More than 100 rural businesses  and over 60 influencers have sent letters of opposition to Ministers.  National Infrastructure Commission Chair Sir John Armitt  and Committee on Climate Change Chair Lord Deben  have both raised questions about the need for Sizewell C.
- Stop Sizewell C is a campaign group formed by local people in the community on the frontline of the project. We did not start out opposing Sizewell C but were driven to it after 8 years of EDF’s failed engagement and the destructive nature of its proposals.
- Information from EDF’s application for Development Consent: Funding Statement and Climate Change docs (page 33). See also our report www.stopsizewellc.org/sizewell-c-and-climate-change/ and RSPB statement.
- In 1979 a plan was announced for the CEGB to build one PWR per year from 1982 but, after 16 years, Sizewell B was the only PWR built and by the early 1990s the rest had been dropped as uneconomic. In 2008 the UK government gave the go-ahead for a new generation of nuclear power stations to be built. Hinkley Point C, in conjunction with Sizewell C, was expected to contribute 13% of UK electricity at an estimated cost of £24 per MWh (Areva/EDF). 12 years later only Hinkley Point C is under construction with a guaranteed electricity cost of £92.5 per MWh (at 2012 prices) and inflation proofed. Hitachi and Toshiba have both pulled out of projects at Moorside, Wylfa and Oldbury.
- After applying for planning consent on 27 May, EDF announced on 15 October it would be changing its proposals, with new public consultations planned for 18 November – 18 December. This will delay the consenting process, with a decision by the BEIS Secretary of State not expected until early 2022.
- Natural England says it would not be lawful to permit the project as proposed. Additionally the Environment Agency says EDF has “knowingly chosen to submit a Flood Risk Assessment which is neither supported by adequate modelling, nor demonstrates that the site, its users, and neighbouring areas will be safe in the event of a flood” and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is “not yet satisfied” that Sizewell C can be constructed and operated without compromising the decommissioning of Sizewell A.
- No country in Western Europe has any operating EPRs or new builds besides Hinkley Point C and the catastrophic Flamanville (France) and Olkiluoto (Finland) projects which are a decade behind schedule and multiple times overspent. The EPR has been described by Dr Paul Dorfman of UCL as “too complex to build to time and budget”. EDF aims to have a new EPR design by 2021, but Sizewell C would be the old design.
- See an independent critique of EDF’s Economic Statement www.stopsizewellc.org/economic-impacts/
- 19,000 people have signed an active petition opposing Sizewell C – www.stopsizewellcpetition.com
- Sir John Armitt: “Hopefully by 2025, we will be able to rely on much smarter systems and won’t have to rely on nuclear” Quoted in https://utilityweek.co.uk/treasury-still-unconvinced-rab-model-nuclear/
Lord Deben has described nuclear as a “transitional” energy source whose need reduces as grid-balancing improves. As reported in Utility Week http://www.utilityweek.co.uk/lord-deben-politicians-finally-grasped-reality-climate-change/
Campaign group project images on side of Government building
Stop Sizewell C, who are against the development of a nuclear plant in Suffolk, have projected two images on the side of a Government building.
The group projected their logo and a white elephant with the words ‘Sizewell C; too slow and expensive to help our climate emergency’ on to the side of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Stop Sizewell C say they did ahead of reported meetings between the Prime Minister, Chancellor and Business Secretary to discuss the UK’s civil nuclear programme.
They say it’s been reported that the Prime Minister’s ’10 point plan’ could be made public soon – possible this week.
The statement went on to say: “While government ministers adhere to the line that nuclear has a ‘key’ role in the UK’s future energy mix, it remains unclear whether this will take the form of funding for Small Modular Reactors, or financial support for large-scale projects such as Sizewell C – or both.”
Alison Downes from the campaign group said: “We wanted to send a strong message to Ministers that Sizewell C is a white elephant and it would be wholly inappropriate to give it a ‘green light’.
“Costing at least £20 billion, not operating until the 2030’s and unable to contribute to net zero unil 2040, Sizewell C has no place in the UK’s green recovery.”
Charles Macdowell said: “China’s involvment just adds to the controversy, and then there is the small matter of how Sizewell C would be paid for.
“EDF wants the British public to stump up through our taxes and through our energy bills, regardless of whether we have chosen renewable tariffs.
“This is not going to be popular.
“Financial support for Sizewell C would suck vital funds away from technologies and projects that are capable of truly transforming our energy landscape.”
Paul Collins added: “Sizewell C could not get planning consent until the beginning of 2022 at the earliest; indeed the process has just been extended by EDF engaging in a fifth consultation in nine years, to try to make the unacceptable, acceptable.
“Numerous obstacles remain, including the very serious concerns of DEFRA agencies such as Natural England, which says it would not be lawful to permit the project as proposals stand.
“The unsuitability and sensitivity of the site makes any argument in favour of construction, as a means of economic recovery, frankly insulting.
“Sizewell C is simply the wrong project in the wrong place.”
In response, a spokesperson for the Government said: “Nuclear energy has a key role to play in meeting our net zero commitments. We regularly engage with all developers on their projects and are considering a range of financing solutions.”
8 November 2020
White Elephant projected onto Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as opposition to Sizewell C nuclear power plant intensifies
[WESTMINSTER] The Stop Sizewell C campaign group  tonight projected two images onto BEIS ahead of reported meetings between the Prime Minister, Chancellor and Business Secretary  tomorrow, to discuss the UK’s civil nuclear programme. The projection images were of the group’s logo: “Stop Sizewell C” and “Sizewell C; too slow and expensive to help our climate emergency” super-imposed on a white elephant.
It has been reported that the Prime Minister’s “10 Point Plan” could be made public soon – possibly this week. While government ministers adhere to the line that nuclear has a “key” role in the UK’s future energy mix, it remains unclear whether this will take the form of funding for Small Modular Reactors, or financial support for large-scale projects such as Sizewell C – or both.
Alison Downes of Stop Sizewell C said “We wanted to send a strong message to Ministers that Sizewell C is a white elephant and it would be wholly inappropriate to give it a “green light”. Costing at least £20 billion, not operating until the 2030s and unable to contribute to net zero until 2040,  Sizewell C has no place in the UK’s green recovery. Moreover, this may be the last outing for this failed reactor design. EDF is designing a simpler, cheaper version of the EPR for France, leaving the UK with a design that no one else wants.” 
Charles Macdowell said: “China’s involvement just adds to the controversy, and then there is the small matter of how Sizewell C would be paid for. EDF wants the British public to stump up through our taxes and through our energy bills,  regardless of whether we have chosen renewable tariffs. That is not going to be popular. Financial support for Sizewell C would suck vital funds away from technologies and projects that are capable of truly transforming our energy landscape.”
Paul Collins added: “Sizewell C could not get planning consent until the beginning of 2022 at the earliest; indeed the process has just been extended by EDF engaging in a fifth consultation in nine years, to try to make the unacceptable, acceptable.  Numerous obstacles remain, including the very serious concerns of DEFRA agencies such as Natural England, which says it would not be lawful to permit the project as proposals stand.  The unsuitability and sensitivity of the site makes any argument in favour of construction, as a means of economic recovery, frankly insulting. Sizewell C is simply the wrong project in the wrong place.”
Opposition to Sizewell C is strong and growing. Sizewell C is opposed by Suffolk MP Dan Poulter, thousands of individuals  and a number of organisations including the RSPB and Suffolk Wildlife Trust and dozens of Town and Parish Councils, such as Aldeburgh and Woodbridge. Suffolk County Council “cannot support” EDF’s proposals. Letters of opposition have been sent to Ministers from more than 100 rural businesses  and over 60 influencers.  National Infrastructure Commission Chair Sir John Armitt  and Committee on Climate Change Chair Lord Deben  have both raised questions about the need for Sizewell C.
Stop Sizewell C is a campaign group formed by local people in the community on the frontline of the project. We did not start out opposing Sizewell C but were driven to it after 8 years of EDF’s failed engagement and the destructive nature of its proposals.
This information is from EDF’s application for Development Consent; see Funding Statement and Climate Change documents (page 33). The latter is assessed in our report https://stopsizewellc.org/
No country in Western Europe has any operating EPRs or new builds besides Hinkley Point C and the catastrophic Flamanville (France) and Olkiluoto (Finland) projects which are a decade behind schedule and multiple times overspent. The EPR has been described by Dr Paul Dorfman of UCL as “too complex to build to time and budget”. EDF aims to have a new EPR design by 2021, but Sizewell C would be the old design.
EDF cannot put Sizewell C on its balance sheet and has made no secret of needing a Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model – essentially a nuclear tax – or direct government investment to finance it.
After applying for planning consent on 27 May, EDF announced on 15 October it would be changing its proposals, with new public consultations planned for November. This will further delay the consenting process, with a decision by the BEIS Secretary of State not now expected until early 2022.
The Environment Agency says EDF has “knowingly chosen to submit a Flood Risk Assessment which is neither supported by adequate modelling, nor demonstrates that the site, its users, and neighbouring areas will be safe in the event of a flood” and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is “not yet satisfied” that Sizewell C can be constructed and operated without compromising the decommissioning of Sizewell A.
Over 18,500 people have recently signed an active petition opposing Sizewell C – www.stopsizewellcpetition.com
“Hopefully by 2025, we will be able to rely on much smarter systems and won’t have to rely on nuclear”. https://utilityweek.co.uk/
Lord Deben has described nuclear as a “transitional” energy source whose need reduces as grid-balancing improves. http://www.utilityweek.co.uk/
lord-deben-politicians- finally-grasped-reality- climate-change/
‘No one should assume Sizewell C is now a foregone conclusion’
Campaign group Stop Sizewell C say there are still many obstacles to overcome, following reports that the Government is ‘close’ to giving the project the green light.
The group say they’ve written to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary of State, Alok Sharma, to seek assurances about the due process behind the Sizewell C project.
Alison Downes, who’s from the campaign group, said: “No one should assume Sizwell C is now a foregone conclusion.
“There are numerous obstacles, including very serious concerns from DEFRA agencies like Natural England, which says it would not be lawful to permit the project as proposals stand, and no guarantees that £20 billion can be found or the RAB funding model legislated for.
“By the time these issues are resolved – if indeed they can be – our energy landscape will have changed yet again and Sizewell C will be shown as too slow and expensive to help our climate emergency.
“Meanwhile opposition is strong and growing, encompassing a wide range of stakeholders.”
A Government spokesperson has told us that: “Nuclear energy has a key role to play in meeting our net zero commitments.
“We regularly engage with all developers on their projects and are considering a range of financing solutions.”
Sizewell C contractor, EDF, has told us: “Sizewell C will help to drive a green economic recovery by providing a big boost for jobs, skills, apprentices and nuclear supply chain businesses across the UK.
“The project is ready to help the UK achieve net zero and we hope for a positive commitment from the Government soon.”
Councillor Craig Rivett, who’s the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development at East Suffolk Council, had this to say in response to recent reports:
“We are aware of media reports indicating that the government intends to approve the construction of Sizewell C New Nuclear Build.
“East Suffolk Council welcomes this development because it will bring jobs and investment to our area – however we would want to continue to work closely with EDF, the government and others, as set out in our response to the Planning Inspectorate.
“We want to ensure the impacts on our communities are minimised and that there will be a legacy to make our area even better for residents, business and visitors.”
The Unite Union have also said they welcome the prospect of job creation: “We would warmly welcome the government’s go-ahead for Sizewell C, as indicated by media reports today (Saturday 31st October), as it would tick a number of key boxes that will benefit the post-pandemic, post-Brexit UK economy.
“The development of the site on the Suffolk coast would create a source of low carbon and reliable energy, as well as a new generation of skilled ‘green’ employment. It will enhance the UK’s energy security at a time of challenging international relations.
“We understand that the construction of the new nuclear power station could generate up to 25,000 jobs during construction and at least 1,000 apprenticeships.
“An estimated 2,500 businesses in the supply chain would also benefit. It would provide 900 operational jobs during the 60 years it is expected to be in service.
“This would only be good news as the UK employment market continues to be seriously battered by the impact of Covid-19.
“What this would also do is create a skills bridge from Hinkley Point, being constructed in Somerset, to Sizewell that ensures that the skills and the knowledge that have been acquired on the initial project can be transferred to Sizewell and are not lost to the country’s skill base.
“It would also end a period of uncertainty and setbacks for the UK nuclear industry – the latest being Hitachi’s decision last month to withdraw from the Wylfa nuclear power project on Anglesey.
“We are also waiting for the government’s much-delayed energy White Paper which must show how the UK reaches its pledge of net-zero carbon emissions across all forms of energy by 2050. This must include nuclear power and renewables, such as wind power.”