Recent news reports suggest the energy crisis has contributed to the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, being finally persuaded to back nuclear. Here is why it is neither logical nor – yet – a done deal, and what you can do about it.
- Sizewell C cannot fix the immediate crisis. It would be 12 years till there was any power. Meanwhile more renewables will be built and storage options developed. There are credible, affordable energy models (eg Energy Systems Catapult, Imperial, and even by National Grid and the Climate Change Committee) that exclude Sizewell C.
- The £20 billion cost is only likely to rise, and there are limits both on the public purse and on consumers’ ability (or willingness) to pay. Adding too great a financial burden on consumers could be a real vote loser. Pension funds do not appear to be queuing up to invest and China still needs removing from the project.
- Backing new nuclear does not have to mean backing Sizewell C. There are other options for the government, such as Small Modular Reactors and revived discussions on Wylfa. It’s hard to imagine that money could be found to do all of these.
- There are significant problems with the Sizewell C proposals, especially a sustainable water supply. There is no guarantee Sizewell C would get planning consent. We maintain it is the wrong site for such a damaging project.
- The EPR reactor is still an unproven technology. There are only two completed reactors in the world, at Taishan in China, and one is shut down because of fuel failure, with very little information emerging as to the cause, or the implications for Olkiluoto, Flamanville, Hinkley C or Sizewell C.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- Write to the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP urging him not to waste our money on Sizewell C for all the reasons mentioned above. Email email@example.com, Salutation Dear Chancellor.
- Send your message also to the BEIS Secretary of State, Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP: firstname.lastname@example.org, Dear Secretary of State.
- Send your message to your MP (do not cc). In Suffolk Coastal this is Rt Hon Dr Thérèse Coffey email@example.com, Dear Dr Coffey.