Tag Archives: EDF

China Investment in UK Nuclear, 21 October 2015

Campaigners express concern as David Cameron and Xi Jinping sign a deal for China to take a major stake in UK nuclear power stations, including Sizewell

21 October 2015, for immediate release

Contact:  Jon Swallow 01728 830981, jonswallow@btinternet.com        Alison Downes, 07711 843884, alison.downesuk@gmail.com

[East Suffolk] Campaigners representing Theberton and Eastbridge, [1] the community in the frontline of the devastating impacts of constructing Sizewell C, have expressed grave concern at today’s announcement that China will take a significant stake in the UK’s nuclear power programme, investing £6bn in Hinkley Point C. Under a “Head of Terms” agreement, China will take a 20% stake in Sizewell [2] and use its own reactor technology at Bradwell.

TEAGS Chair Jon Swallow said, “This tiny community has spent the last 3 years trying to make EDF change its plans to build a campus for 3,000 workers next to a hamlet of 100 people, and send 600 lorries a day through our village. If China is involved, we fear this will push us even further from the negotiating table.

China’s poor safety record and disregard for community concerns worry us, along with a real fear of how they would treat the environment in this special place. The government may tell us that China must meet UK standards, but with China’s lack of transparency, how far can we trust these assurances?”

Criticisms of Chinese investment in our nuclear power stations have been extensively covered by the media in recent weeks, including the views of senior military and intelligence figures, that giving China a big stake in Britain’s nuclear power industry poses a threat to national security, [3] and serious safety questions about the rigour of Chinese nuclear firms. [4] China’s poor record of respecting the natural environment is a further cause for concern to the residents and countless visitors to this Heritage Coast – a precious haven for wildlife.

TEAGS member Alison Downes said: “Britain and China’s relationship has been a rollercoaster in recent years, with Britain only just clawing its way out of the diplomatic deep freeze. And if the relationship sours again, which it easily could, are we really comfortable about our nuclear power stations, with all their security concerns, being in the hands of a regime that disdains democracy, suppresses free speech, and has a poor record of environmental protection? China has already shown it can make our government bend at will – so how can we have faith that our elected leaders will enforce UK standards?”

Today’s announcement may mean that the next Stage of consultations at Sizewell C will proceed in the coming months. TEAGS wants to see evidence that EDF genuinely intends to be a “good neighbour” and will directly address the concerns of our community, which is expected to bear a disproportionate brunt of the impacts of this build. And whilst we recognise the need for employment in this area, EDF has yet to provide compelling evidence that significant numbers of local people will genuinely benefit.

Jon Swallow added: “We will continue to represent our community, strengthening our relationships with surrounding parishes, in a collective effort to ensure that if Sizewell goes ahead we get the best possible deal for everyone; minimising the impacts on those of us in the frontline and maximising the potential benefits across the wider region.

TEAGS will demand action from our elected representatives to support us in pressing for creative solutions to the challenges of building Sizewell C, including dispersed legacy housing – which this country so badly needs – and a relief road to service the biggest infrastructure project the East of England has ever seen.”


  1. Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell [TEAGS] is a community organisation established in 2012. See www.stopsizewellc.org. It has the full and formal support of the Parish Council. TEAGS is expressly not about nuclear power yes or no, but seeks to protect the community in the face of the biggest building project ever seen in the East of England.
  2. As reported by Reuters, 3pm, 21 October 2015

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/10/21/uk-china-britain-idUKKCN0SF0PS20151021On 16 October The Sunday Times reported “At Sizewell, China is understood to be pushing for a 60% stake and may even insist on inserting its own technology — possibly its own reactor.” http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/business/Industry/article1620628.ece

  3. The Times, 16 October 2015. Nuclear Deal with China is a Threat to National Security, http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4587446.ece
  4. Errors revealed at Chinese nuclear firm seeking to invest in UK plants http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/19/steel-rods-missing-at-chinese-nuclear-firm-seeking-to-invest-in-uk-plants

MEP hears voice of Sizewell Protesters

Andrew Duff MEP visited Theberton and Eastbridge on 11 April. Read our Press Release in full below. The East Anglian Daily Times story is available online , published 12 April 2014.

BBC Radio Suffolk, Breakfast Show, available on BBC iPlayer, until 19 April 2014. Andrew Duff’s visit is the first item on the 6am, 7am and 8am and 9am news. At 7am there is an interview with Andrew Duff, and from 8am the interviewee is TEAGS member Su Swallow.

Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell, Press Release, 11 April 2014

Damaging impact of Sizewell C proposals highlighted in MEP’s visit to East Suffolk

Communities in the firing line of EDF’s plans welcome Andrew Duff MEP to Theberton and Eastbridge.

For more information contact: info@stopsizewellc.org, Jon Swallow: 01728 830981, Alison Downes: 07711 843884 or Gordon McInnes 07786 1096928.

[East Suffolk] Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS) [1] will host a visit by Andrew Duff MEP to their small east suffolk parish on 11 April from 3pm [2], to illustrate how EDF Energy’s plans for Sizewell C will irretrievably damage their local environment and quality of life. EDF is seeking to build twin nuclear reactors to the north of two existing power stations. It plans to rely on the B1122 to carry all construction and emergency traffic, and house 3,000 construction workers in a multi-storey campus adjacent to the tiny hamlet of Eastbridge.

“If Sizewell C goes ahead it would be the biggest construction site the east of England has ever seen” said Jon Swallow, Chair of the Sizewell Parishes Liaison Group and member of TEAGS. “It would damage a fragile and internationally protected environment, and destroy the unique qualities that make this part of Suffolk so special, and so popular with visitors – the peace and tranquility and dark night skies. We hope Andrew Duff will help us find out how Energy Secretary Ed Davey came to include Sizewell as a site for potential new reactors, when he rejected other places on the basis of their fragile and protected environment.”

“It appears EDF remains wholly determined to accommodate up to 3,000 workers on the edge of Eastbrldge, thereby creating an industrial town next to a rural hamlet of barely 100 people” added Alison Downes, a Theberton resident and member of TEAGs. “Here in Theberton and Eastbridge, we are the people directly in the firing line of these proposals, and EDF should not simply be allowed to ride roughshod over the tiny communities in its path.” 

TEAGs members question why Sizewell plans differ from Hinkley Point in Somerset, where worker accommodation is split into several smaller dispersed sites in larger centres of population, better equipped to absorb the influx and with greater potential of bringing a long-term beneficial legacy to the region.

Gordon McInnes, who lives on the B1122 in Theberton said “We find it ludicrous that EDF expects this country B-road through our village to cope with 600 construction lorry journeys a day, most of the worker traffic and to be the main emergency access and exit route. Such a large project must not go ahead without a dedicated new road.”

On 28 March EDF announced plans to hold further ‘consultation’. This was reported as being “to give people the chance to comment on and discuss developing ideas for some of the key parts of the estimated £14 billion project” (EADT, 29 March) [3]. However, those attending a Community Forum meeting were left in no doubt that EDF does not intend to substantively reconsider plans for worker accommodation, and that the ‘consultation’ would be merely window-dressing.

“I and others attending a recent Community Forum were distressed and angered by EDF’s refusal to respond to concerns of local residents” said Jon Swallow. “We are delighted Andrew Duff is visiting, as we need our elected representatives to defend our best interests. We will not rest until we have made our voices heard.” 

Notes to editors

1. See https://www.stopsizewellc.org for full details of the range of concerns held by Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group.

2. Meet at Theberton Village Hall on Church Road, no later than 3pm.

3. See Sizewell: Public to be given extra say on Sizewell C options as additional consultation round announced. http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/sizewell_public_to_be_given_extra_say_on_sizewell_c_options_as_additional_consultation_round_announced_1_3494322

Residents’ horror at Sizewell proposal

Clipping above is from the East Anglian Daily Times, 24 January 2014. Read on the EADT Website 

Other Recent News

Spectator, 22 February 2014 “Why has Britain signed up for the world’s most expensive power station?”  by Peter Atherton.  http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9141142/why-has-britain-signed-up-for-the-worlds-most-expensive-power-station/

B1122 Action Group spokesperson Charles MacDowell was interviewed on BBC Radio Suffolk 21 February 2014 (no longer available to listen again).

Telegraph, 25 January 2014 “Suffolk in Winter” by Brian Jackman, which gives a taste of the unique character of east Suffolk.  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/uk/10587459/Suffolk-in-winter.html