Report From Together Against Sizewell C Requires New Secretary Of State To Review Nuclear Component In Energy Policy
29 JULY 2016
Greg Clark, the newly appointed Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has received a report compiled by members of Together Against Sizewell C (TASC), a Leiston-based organisation opposed to the construction of another nuclear plant at Sizewell in Suffolk, which clearly and unequivocally demonstrates that the nuclear component of the energy policy being pursued by the government is unnecessary.
The report argues that the data upon which the original policy was based has changed so fundamentally over the last few years that a review of the National Policy statement as expressed in EN1 is obligatory under Section 6 of the 2008 Planning Act. All government targets can be met without the nuclear component and TASC urges the Secretary of State to re-examine the policy and amend it to remove controversial, costly, dangerous and politically toxic nuclear power from the mix.
TASC’s report (Nuclear Power: New Evidence - A call for a statutory review of the Overarching National Policy Statement for Energy (EN-1) made pursuant to Section 6 of the Planning Act 2008) is accompanied by a letter from lawyers Leigh Day who are acting for TASC.
Pete Wilkinson, TASC’s Chairperson, said today, ‘We are putting the government on notice that it has an obligation to examine the energy situation in the UK very carefully. The years of uncertainty and controversy which have surrounded Hinkley Point C’s proposed development have left the country confused and bemused. Component paperwork falsification, terrorism, emergency evacuation concerns, health issues and a host of other problems which nuclear power faces must surely cause the government to doubt the wisdom of including nuclear over the rapid development of decentralisation, renewables, efficiency and renewables/appropriate technology.
‘TASC did what the former DECC has asked us to do: look at the ‘pathways’ section of its website and construct more sensible and workable energy options. We urge Greg Clark to read the report and come to the conclusions that we have: we do not need nuclear power and it is time to abandon nuclear.’
- Category: Reports
Theresa May does well to look at the fine print on Hinkley C. Thousands of pages, apparently, some of it secret UK -France agreements. One known clause of concern will be the termination date for the whole project: if it is not up and running by 2032 that's it. Big white elephant in Somerset.
The other fine print isn't there, if experts - and common sense - are right: the UK has no compensation clauses, while the Chinese have cost and completion date penalty clauses. Instead we've had to pay for the insurance for everyone else - hence Mr Osborne's £2bn.
Mrs May has plenty of time too, more than likely as much as 3 years, not "early Autumn". Even with the "final investment decision" just made in Paris, EDF had already announced a start up date three years further on, sometime in 2019. That gives only 13 years to be up and running.....EDF have not yet achieved that anywhere.
In any case, there is a whole lot still to happen in these three years. Money is the heart of the matter. Anyone familiar with EDF finances knows that this year's annual report for the UK operations - due April/May next year - and covering Sizewell B - will be interesting: is even this station now running profitably with low overall energy prices ? EDF may have got 3bn euros from the French government, but they still need to sell off world assets worth twice that to provide the cash to build at Hinkley.
And remember, the Finnish Government are stil in court over their unfinished EPR, seeking compensation for delays.
Then there are major Hinkley design changes to reduce costs. The build cost has recently been reduced from £24 bn (which justified the high strike price) to £16bn plus a bit for inflation, now £18bn. Design changes are likely to reduce safety devices etc. This will all take time too.
Has Brexit changed anything:? Yes, it allows the UK government to directy subsidize all nuclear plants,not just inkley as a special case. The other two nuclear companies on Anglesey and at Sellafieldhave said they need outside investors and will want their "fair share" of the subsidy price. Maybe even Mrs May can't afford that. Certainly as taxpayers we can't - and shouldn't - either.
And here ? Suffolk businessmen and politicians boasting about £100 million a year etc from Sizewell C (&D) need to get real: their nuclear pipe dreams are blighting Suffolk, not developing it. Whatever happened to cost-benefit analysis? New Sizewell is not community cost free. EDF locally said three years ago they didn't have money for new roads and "mitigations" and compensation. Surely that's even more true today than then. What a sorry mess.
Over to you Mrs May. Take as much time as you need !
- Category: Local Letters
Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) joins the debate on the review of nuclear emergency planning
TASC - the coalition of anti- and pro-nuclear groups fighting to stop the development of Sizewell C - fed up with the constant delay over the review of the emergency planning issue around Sizewell, today distributed over 4000 flyers throughout Leiston and Saxmundham warning residents of the potential grave danger posed by Sizewell B and the future proposed development of two more reactors at Sizewell C.
The flyer argues that the current review of the 'detailed emergency evacuation zone (DEPZ) is in utter confusion. The possible reduction from 2.4kms to 1km for the pre-distribution of potassium iodate tablets (stable iodine) is insulting to people in the wider East Suffolk area, as is the suggestion that people outside the area “stay indoors and listen to local radio and TV for updates”
It points out that, after the Fukushima disaster, the Japanese authorities imposed an exclusion zone of 20kms and that the USA required its own nationals to observe a self-imposed 80kms no-go area around the stricken plant. The lessons learned exercise in which the UK nuclear industry participated in the wake of the event appears not to have stretched to taking on board the need to prepare people who live far away from the plant as well as those who live close by. In addition, it has been a source of concern to TASC that the new dry spent fuel store under construction at Sizewell B represents a terrorist target and that the consequences of an attack on the store and the resulting radioactive contamination appear not to have been taken into account in the current review process. TASC flyer also informs people that a notional Sizewell C will be three times as powerful as the Fukushima plant, making the potential consequences that much greater.
Pete Wilkinson, Acting Chairman of TASC, said today, 'It is time we took the lid off this debate and told people exactly how the authorities are gambling with their lives, their livelihoods, their jobs, their homes and farmland. According to the authoritative Max Planck Gesellschaft, nuclear accidents of a severe nature are likely to occur once every 10 - 20 years (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120522134942.htm)
yet our authorities seem hell-bent on keeping the evacuation zone at a ridiculously small radius - only 23 individuals would be affected by a 1km radius evacuation zone at Sizewell - so as not to frighten the second homers, tourists and business investments in the area. It is our view that we all have a right to know the truth and that the authorities have a duty to provide unbiased and accurate information to a wide constituency of people. If the proposed 1km evacuation zone is agreed, it will not be with the consent of residents, nor with the agreement of experts outside the industry, because they are excluded from the discussions”
The Government, the nuclear industry, the ONR, the county and district councils may do well to think again about the safety and well being of the residents of Suffolk . We should not ignore the perils of a nuclear accident. Plans will be imposed on us by those who have a vested interest and those who pretend that nuclear accidents can not happen in the UK, despite the evidence to the contrary. We certainly hope it never happens, but not to prepare for it could be catastrophic and by increasing the density of population in East Suffolk may cause even greater difficulty for any evacuation.
The Councillors responsible for Planning at County and District when making decisions which increase the population, need to be aware of the possibility of having to safely evacuate all residents, if they do not they are acting recklessly and irresponsibly and should reconsider their position
For further information contact:
Pete Wilkinson (Chair of TASC) on 01728 660232 mb 07940524831
Joan Girling 01728 830965
- Category: News