Dear Sir,

When are EDF going to admit that the Sizewell C project, involving the potential construction of one or two enormous reactors on our Heritage Coast and in the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is never going to happen? Since 2009 we have been threatened with this project on the back of a government programme to deploy 16 GigaWatt of power by nuclear means by 2025. Essential we were told to keep the lights on and keep to climate change targets. It is now admitted that Hinkley Point C will not be operational until 2027 even if the reactor component forging can be approved by our nuclear regulators. A project at Moorside (Sellafield) for three reactors is now admitted could not happen until 2027, there are problems with the near insolvency of the Westinghouse company. Government Ministers now admit that the Hinkley Point C contact at £92.50 per megawatt hour, is simply too expensive, will not be replicated and potentially leaves taxpayers with a £50billion bill should the price of wholesale price of electricity remain low. So where does that leave Sizewell C? Are we to go through a wholly unnecessary planning process for SZC for those EPR reactors simply to allow the Chinese CGN backed development at Bradwell in Essex to go forward for their own design of reactor, despite the Chinese apparently refusing to supply all information to our regulators?

We have a clamour, from certain unions, for government to back new nuclear because of jobs, but why would anyone want to back projects so risky and potentially unaffordable? There will be many nuclear jobs in decommissioning and waste management over a long period. The way Sizewell A workforce rundown has been managed should be an example of how this can be done, with as few redundancies as possible. Many skills are transferable to renewables in any case. Unions should be calling for a properly funded training scheme for jobs in all of the energy sector and specific training in smart technologies and electric vehicles.

Yours sincerely,

Mike Taylor

Leiston.

Dear Sir,

It was really gratifying to read the article by Paul Geater EADT,14th Sept about the reality surrounding the unlikelihood of the construction of Sizewell C&D. Is the penny finally dropping, I wonder, that the proposals are not such a good idea after all? Despite what our local MP, Therese Coffey, those in Parliament and our local councillors are all mostly saying about how imperative it is to build this monster along our precious Heritage Coast.


It seems only yesterday, but it was about eighteen months ago when Sizewell B underwent its last ''outage'' costing aprox. £60,000,000. Another is due this coming November which will take up to two months when up to 1000 extra workers will descend from France, USA and some locally, to join the 500 already there, employed for the normal 24/7shift arrangement. The nuclear plant at this time will come to a slow stop. Not enough energy is produced to even run a light bulb for the duration of the outage. At this time, the dangerous procedure of removing the spent fuel rods to the ponds will commence where they will remain for five years. New enriched rods will replace them. I was informed of this at the last stake holder meeting when I was there as a member of the invited public. I understand this procedure is to contain the dangerous waste material in these 'special ponds'.

 

This ''outage'', I was informed, would be of a lesser nature than the last. By this, I have concluded, as was not the case with the previous outage, some spent fuel rods will not have to be moved from the ponds to facilitate the new arrivals. The nuclear "waste" moved before would go for storage into the American designed ''High Storm'' containers, sealed in helium, metal and concrete and contained as seen in pictures in the EADT, December 30th 2016. Each container, some 6 metres high, is placed in the new £200,000,000 newly built hanger structure, large enough for approximately 135 containers from Sizewell 'B'. These containers will remain here at Sizewell for between 100 and 150 years, long after the 'B' reactor has ceased and maybe EDF as well! A new larger structure would have to be built to contain the waste from C&D reactors, should they ever be built. The search for a 'Geological Disposal Facility' (GDF) goes on. This facility has been sought since the 1950's and is still unresolved and I would think likely to remain so. Whatever happens, the containers remain highly dangerous for thousands and thousands of years and with an eroding coastline, as at Sizewell, sounds to me a desperate situation in which we are likely to remain. I shall be long gone but not our grandchildren and theirs....

 

All of this is with the possibility of there being a Sizewell C&D addition, both infinitely larger and burning at a higher temperature. This process has caused the delays and uncertainties about reactor vessel containment strength in Flammanville, France (and in Finland and China) where the French designed EPR (European Pressure Reactor) build is chronically late and over budget. In addition, Sizewell would have to create cooling ponds to take waste not for five years but seven years as the reactor vessels burn at a much greater temperature making it even more dangerous.

 

There is a misconception that nuclear is a low carbon green energy source. This is but a myth. From the outset of mining and refining uranium for fuel to the long construction period (12+ years, equaling about 20% of its lifetime) decommissioning, dismantling and the long storage of the nuclear waste pushes carbon production off the scale. This technology, it is being realised, is now totally out of date and should be replaced by the rapidly expanding, vastly cheaper, clean renewable generation of electricity.

 

Bob Hoggar

Dear Sir,

At last! The National Audit Office (NAO) has eventually been allowed to voice deep concerns over the shear folly and cost of Hinkley 'C' & Sizewell 'C'. (EADT article 23rd June by Richard Cornwell).

As referred to in the article, China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) and Electric de France (EDF), both nationalised companies, are partners in this carve up of the UK energy requirements. They are set to be paid double the current rate for electricity by us as part of an agreed and disguised subsidy. This is to offset the real overall costs of nuclear for way into the future. This is without the cost of the nuclear waste storage now at Sizewell for almost 200 years before then being moved supposedly to this allusive 'geological storage facility'. This having been sought for, without success, since the late 1940's.

It is sad and ironic that the Central Electricity Generating Board, our own former nationalised British energy corporation, was sold off to the markets during the 1980's and has ended up owned by EDF and others. Incidentally, CGN is also the main manufacturer of the Chinese nuclear arsenal. In the light of the recent tragic event in London concerning safety regulation, I am concerned that the ONR (Office of Nuclear Regulation) is being told it must not jeopardise the advancement of the economy by this Government when scrutinising and regulating nuclear projects. This surely renders them toothless. The Brexit debacle affords this Government the opportunity yet again to water down safety regulation, 'red tape' as they call it, with possible disastrous consequences.

I find it sad the way our newly re-elected Tory MP, Therese Coffey, a Minister for the Dept. of the ENVIRONMENT, Fishing and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) does not consider the statutory and internationally recognised environmental richness of our heritage coast and it seems to matter little to her. Our heritage coast should be one of her main priorities for the continued success of tourism and recreation we currently enjoy.

Instead Dr Coffey constantly insists how Sizewell C&D would be ideal for this totally inaccessible Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and instead speaks glowingly about the thousands of jobs she insists it would create, most of which would go to workers imported from afar. As any person other than an MP realises this would totally destroy tourism, and the richness of the heritage coast, that is currently enjoyed by so many and working well.

For goodness sake, Madam MP, we are in enough trouble already. Please don't pile on the agony! Your Tory party's short term policies over decades have done enough damage to this country. Please stop!

Bob Hoggar , Halesworth.

 

Sir, Eleven years on from when the government suggested new nuclear could be part of the energy mix to combat climate change, we are still no nearer to being given the opportunity to challenge the choice of Sizewell as a potential site, either through the planning process, or through the site licencing process and the involvement of the nuclear regulators. Despite technology moving on at such a pace that the previously agreed strike price of £ 92.50 per megawatt hour for Hinkley Point C is now being shown to be hopelessly unaffordable for UK taxpayers. With many alternatives now needing no subsidy and alongside new storage technologies and changes to the distribution system there is no need for a fixed baseload from nuclear and certainly not at a price double that of alternatives. The former head of the National Grid recently confirmed there is no need for fixed baseload. Government is also continuing to promote fracking despite alternative gas supplies from other technologies including anaerobic digestion and use of hydrogen. It is clearer than ever before that one of the original reasons promoted for new nuclear ie combating climate change is easily achieved by alternative means, given the will, by government, to change policy. These alternatives will be delivered quicker and cheaper but will also be accomplished without the disruption to the environment and peoples’ lives from a 10 to 12year build programme and without the legacy of nuclear waste left for future generations to monitor, manage and guard. The reactor type is not yet finally tested and commissioned anywhere in the world despite the first construction commencing in 2005. It is believed that certain parts of the reactor do not yet have an approved manufacturing process for the quality desired by the industry and the regulator.

The new Suffolk County Council really does need to address whether it supports new nuclear and should thoroughly research the need and the alternatives, rather than continue to waste taxpayer money and officer time in pursuit of new roads and hostel sites, which cannot possibly compensate for or mitigate the impact on Suffolk of the monstrous intrusion of Sizewell C. This would also allow it to help guide what training needs, particularly in engineering, are best addressed at the Alde Valley training centre. The provision of which is to be applauded, whilst recognising that it simply replaces a provision at Halesworth which has been closed. Our young people can then be trained in industries with a beneficial sustainable future rather than those of the past.

Mike Taylor

Leiston

I was particularly heartened by the front page article, EADT March 2nd by Richard Cornwell, in which the views of the tourist industry of this area were so forcibly put by Michael Pritt, owner of the Wentworth Hotel, Aldeburgh. This tourist destination is not alone by any stretch of the imagination and attracts local spending and provides many permanent jobs as part of Suffolk's successful recreation, leisure and tourist industry. 
Some of the many hotels and businesses are smaller, such as B&Bs providing accommodation for the many who visit the coast and surrounding areas. Accommodation EDF have said they would like to take advantage of for their employees should Sizewell C&D ever get the 'go'. 
I cannot understand why more residents from Aldeburgh haven't constantly expressed their concerns as forcibly as has Mr Pritt. Particularly as it is planned to construct an 800m long commercial jetty, just up the coast from Aldeburgh, with ships delivering to the site.
As has been stated over and over, to the north and south of Aldeburgh, are internationally recognised 'Special Protection Areas' (SPA's) . Just north is the world famous RSPB Minsmere, developed since just after the last war to the amazing bird and wildlife reserve of today. Now, unbelievably, it is proposed to plonk two giant nuclear power stations right next to this precious site and over Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Also as part of their discussions with EDF, our local councils are trying to insist EDF improve our roads locally as part of the package. These should have been part of the councils' responsibility years ago.  Many were planned in the1960's.!
As Michael Pritt rightly says, Sizewell at this stage is still only a' potential site for the Sizewell C&D nuclear additions. C&D would have two reactors and these are to be larger than the existing Sizewell 'B, which is the American designed Westinghouse type. This is already sitting alongside the now defunct UK Magnox
Sizewell 'A' model which is now having to stand there for the next 70 years when we are told it will become safer to commence dismantling. This task lasting a further 20 years!
  
In addition,  Sizewell now has wind farm terminals installed. The offshore wind farms are already safely generating electricity and more are nearing completion,  creating many, many safe skilled jobs. Unlike Sizewell C&D, which will take 12 years and not 10 years to build at an estimated cost of £20 billion not £10 billion to build. Which is 20% of its 60 year life expectancy. Certainly not a low carbon operation, as we are led to believe.In addtion to all of this is the necessity to have ''outages'' for 8 weeks every 18 months when there is a complete ''shutdown'' costing in the region of £60) mill each time. Low carbon energy, just a myth!    The 'Chinese Partners' have been invited to invest 20% in this 'potential' project, and more at Hinkley Point, I understand.  Following that, the Chinese are hoping to construct their own HPR 1000 model at Bradwell. How about that!  It has been said the very shallow Blackwater tidal river would not be able to cool those huge reactors. It makes me shudder to think of the consequences.
Now, along with all of this, there is the necessity to store nuclear waste at Sizewell. This spent fuel, highly dangerous material, is to be stored in huge
containers, as featured in the past in the EADT. This will remain on site for centuries and the real issues of having to deal with the waste problem we are
leaving for our future grand children's children, and more, to sort out.  Politicians seem totally oblivious to the seriousness of our local plight and concentrate only on the false promise of long term job creation.  Yes, 5500 jobs while under construction, says EDF.  But many imported and many former employees from other nuclear sites with the required skills. And a few for local businesses and workers. Leiston hasn't exactly thrived after the building of Sizewell A or B, has it? And! one thousand additional workers are required to work upon the outages each tme. I had this point confirmed to me at the last Sizewell Stakeholder Meeting .
Regrettably the area as we know it will have suffered irreparable damage. At the end, to have provided only 900 jobs between two additional nuclear power stations with a three shiftwork arrangement, including security jobs, domestic and cleaning jobs, after12 years, ain't that many! Most of the former jobs in tourism and other local businesses will, by then, have long gone!  
Bob Hoggar