Sir/Madam,

The proposed development at Sizewell for two new European Pressurised Reactors (EPRs) must be stopped and it can be stopped if the people of east Suffolk in the towns and villages which would be adversely affected by the nine to twelve year construction period are prepared to make their voices heard.

New nuclear power plants are not required to ‘keep the lights on’. Report after report has shown that we can meet all our climate change, cost and electricity generating requirements without resorting to expensive and dangerous nuclear power which creates massive infrastructure problems as well as a waste issue which is truly intergenerational: it is entirely possible that our great-great-grandchildren will still be looking after the highly toxic waste we create in the next fifty years, bearing all the costs but none of the ‘benefits’.

Nuclear power is therefore an option rather than an imperative in respect of the choice we make for the way in which we meet electricity demands over the next century. The nuclear industry is in general decline. Renewables, decentralization, energy efficiency, smart grids, micro-technology and conservation are the directions in which progressive countries are moving – away from the regressive, complicated and antiquated technology of nuclear power. Most countries pursuing new nuclear build programmes already have or wish to acquire nuclear weapons. Sizewell C, like Hinkley C, has more to do with ensuring the retention of nuclear skills in the workforce, securing the nuclear supply chain and the availability of nuclear material required for missile-carrying Trident submarines than it has to do with providing consumers with electricity. Electricity demand has fallen by around 16% in the last decade. Don’t let them tell you that the lights will go out without Sizewell C: it’s just another way to frighten you into supporting the destruction of our environment.

Quite apart from uncertainties surrounding the health impact of exposure to even low level, routine radiation emissions and the total inadequacy of the emergency plan to evacuate people from a radiation cloud caused by a major incident at the plant, the decade or more of Sizewell C development will require the construction of five new roundabouts on the A12, road widening and straightening, worker campuses, massive park and ride facilities, compulsory purchase orders and the acceptance of upto 1,000 heavy goods vehicle movements every day to and from the site. Noise, dust, light pollution and the influx of thousands of workers will make daily life a living hell for thousands in the once-tranquil villages of rural east Suffolk. Woods will be felled and cleared. Our heritage coast will be diminished. The new reactors will be sited in a flood zone, vulnerable to tidal surges, more extreme weather and flooding. Within 100 years, coastal erosion will turn Sizewell into an island, on which will be stored an unimaginable amount of radioactivity. The planned development is to take place in possibly the worst of all locations.

And what of the nuclear waste to which EdF representatives will tell you there is a ‘solution’? We already have 500,000m3 of waste – five times the capacity of the Albert Hall in London – created by the first round of nuclear power stations, the Magnox and AGR programmes which came to a halt with the construction of the only Pressurised Water Reactor in the UK, Sizewell B. That legacy waste is here, we can’t magic it away and it has to be dealt with somehow and in some way. The Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM), recommended that disposal in a deep geological facility (GDF) was not the best but the least-worst option and disposal was adopted as government policy ever since CoRWM published its report in 2007. But CoRWM made a series of conditions on its recommendations, the most important of which is that disposal should not automatically stretch to new nuclear build spent nuclear fuel which is hotter, and more radioactive than the current fuel. Creating a new and more dangerous waste stream brings with it a raft of moral and ethical considerations, such as ‘do we have the right to knowingly create a new radioactive waste inventory for future generations when there is no demonstrable means of dealing with it?’ Government cannot press ahead with the generation of such a stockpile based solely on the assumption that the problems associated with disposal will somehow and at some time be overcome. No self-respecting planning authority should ever grant permission for a plant creating poisonous chemicals without convincing evidence of its ability to treat its waste streams. That evidence is currently absent.

Nuclear regulators, advisers and the industry itself know that there are many significant technical and scientific hurdles to disposal. They also know that Sizewell C will likely be a white elephant producing electricity which will quite possibly be surplus to the requirements of the country in ten to fifteen years, by which time demand will have fallen even further as we use what we have more efficiently and as we take more demand away from the national grid.

And now, to add insult to injury, EdF want us to pay for the degrading of our own back yard by charging us a £6 annual premium on energy bills which will go straight to the French government to finance Sizewell C. It will also make every bill payer an accessory to the further destruction of our heritage areas by helping EdF to build its redundant white elephant on our precious coast. This ridiculous scheme, supported by the government, represents the shifting of the financing for new nuclear plants from the original and much-trumpeted one of ‘no subsidies’ to the unavoidable reality of ‘transfer the cost to the public’, which includes picking up some of the financial risk for the inevitable overruns in costs that will occur from building Sizewell C. It is a bad deal all round for consumers in the UK and for the residents of east Suffolk.

EdF and the government will make light of the issues raised above, but you have the ability to inform yourselves and to tell your councillors that you reject Sizewell C, EdF and the government’s failing and chaotic energy policy. Together we can stop it.

Pete Wilkinson

Chairman TASC

 

Sir,
 The artists impression published by EDF in the EADT of Sizewell C on the beach alongside a blue and tranquil North Sea tells all of the lunacy of Sizewell.
Those of us who live in Suffolk have a more realistic view of the North Sea.
EDF say they will build a sea wall that will protect the Nuclear Power Station and the Nuclear waste dump from a 1953 tidal surge.
They are wrong. The sea level of the North sea has risen by 0.67 metres since 1953.
In 1953 over 60% of the tidal surge swept into Holland’s delta taking the lives of 1,870 Dutch people.
Since then the Dutch have erected huge barriers and dams that will prevent this water entering any part of Holland.
All of that water will now be added to the surge on the Coast of Suffolk and Essex.
This could add up to 2.5 metres to the surge at Sizewell.
Moreover, the surge that entered the Thames in 1953 will now be arrested by the Thames barrier.
That may protect London but it will again add to levels on the coasts of Suffolk, Essex and North Kent.
 
Whatever we think about the risks and costs associated with the provision and long term management of Nuclear power generation we must all recognise that the building of a nuclear power station on the beach of an eroding and sinking coastline in the face of a rising sea is wrong. And the establishment of a storage dump for nuclear waste with a half life of over 1,000 years on that same beach is lunacy.
 
We must unite and stop the building of Sizewell C.
 
martin deighton
woodbridge.
 
Dear Sir
Your VIPs' Open Letter supporting Sizewell C because of the jobs is a strange approach to a very serious issue. Does it mean that all other considerations should be set aside? If so, is there any merit in the job creation argument ?
if it were built, about 150 to 200 new permanent jobs would be provided, in the main highly specialised. They would come from a massive capital investment of about £20bn, much of it paid for by a 35 year inflation-proofed price subsidy which would also be a wage subsidy, of course. This would be paid for by us as consumers and taxpayers. It woukd give Sizewell a 40% price advantage and guaranteed profits for over half of its 60 year life.That's truly a gigantic pot of money for not many jobs, and subsidised wages of a kind that most ordinary Suffolk workers can only dream about.

It begs the question about whether this sort of money might not be better spent and create considerably more jobs...Doing continuous coastal protection might be better value, permanent and considerably more labour intensive. Fair questions, since the project is to be publically subsidised, regulated and guaranteed, and not just a private market venture. The fact that its profits will go to the French government and China's nuclear company means, of coyrse, that we are being taxed without even getting the putative benefit back. And we, consumers and taxpayers meet all the risks into the bargain.

Dear Sir,
Mike Hazelwood should not trivialize my concerns, and those of others, in his letters EADT 19th & 20th June, over the proposals for the development at Sizewell C&D, insisting everything will be just fine. I very much suspect he is employed at Sizewell by EDF as he used the phrase "We take precautions to ensure that accidents can't happen." I have heard that phrase so often before. Sometimes followed by a statement, 'Lessons will be learned'!  It is now a well proven fact that nuclear is a failed twentieth century technology with a huge very dangerous nuclear waste legacy requiring dangerous storage forever.

EDF, and CGN their partners, are also unable to attract private investment due to the immense financial risks and huge previous losses. This has necessitated EDF trying to get us all to pay an annual tax levy on top of our electricity costs to help fund the huge EDF cash deficit they have. This is said to be some 37bill Euros to the French Government.   In addition, Jean Bernard Levy, Chief EDF Exec., is being directed  by Emmanual Macron, French president, to start making safe as many as 20 of their 58 older nuclear power stations, at  an enormous cost.  As a result of all of the financial short comings, we have now been introduced to another newish method of proposed funding called RAB ( Regulated Asset Base).    In addition, the government also agreed to pay EDF/CGN in 2016, before commencement at Hinkley Point C&D, a guaranteed price starting at £92.5  per Megga /Watt hr, index linked for 35 years now twice the current Renewable Energy cost since commencement. I was told while on a recent trip to visit Hinkley Point the amount has already  moved to £ 105 per M/W Hr. The bad news for EDF/CGN, these sums are not due until completion . EDF builds nuclear power stations, Britain chose Sizewell not EDF.  They must be stopped.!.

Our younger generation  have recently pleaded with the current generations to drastically change their self endulgent lifestyle for the sake of the planet and their futures. Sir David Attenbourgh has been doing this for 30 years.  I saw and read just recently how guests flocked to the EDF Suffolk Show stand. They heard a presentation by the Sizewell C&D project development director, Mr Jim Crawford of EDF, and then were entertained and enjoyed drinks and a full page Business section of photographs. Eager guests, many of whom would be on 'The list' we hear about, hoping to gain from a Sizewell C&D development. Also,more sadly was the British Tory DEFRA minister, Dr Therese Coffey, keenly advocating  development at Sizewell -AONB  alongside  Mr Tom  McGarry of EDF.  I would suggest the guests and MP at the gathering, take a walk as I and many others did recently over the area to be decimated. It is heart breaking.  One thing that really  hurt me was to see 200 year old oaks and other trees, all for the chop, to make way for this outdated monster.

Bob Hoggar Halesworth.

Dear Sir/Madam,

The suggestion (reported in EADT 12/06/19) that all the UK’s electricity bill payers will pay an upfront subsidy/levy to the French government owned EDF to enable the company to build Sizewell C’s twin EPR nuclear reactors on Suffolk’s Heritage Coast underlines the lack of market confidence in nuclear power, both technically and financially. This contrived funding method, called the Regulated Asset Basis (RAB) would transfer the commercial risk of the Sizewell C project from EDF to the customer and appears to be only available to new nuclear projects, even though this is old technology. Surely this would give the nuclear industry an unfair, and totally immoral, advantage over renewables’ contracts. By transferring part of the financial risk, the commercial imperative for EDF to get the plant built on time and within budget is significantly weakened.

Given that EDF’s unfinished flagship project to build their first EPR reactor at Flamanville, France will be at least 8 years behind schedule and 3 times the original budget, the scale of risk to UK consumers and UK taxpayers is further increased beyond the usual expectation that the public purse would be required to bear the excess costs in the event of the inevitable delays or total failure of the project. Consumers could be paying the £6 surcharge for at least 12 years, the actual period being dependent on delays and would all be payable before a single kilowatt of electricity is generated. Given EDF’s previous budgeting failures will we see the £6 figure creep ever upwards? The RAB method of financing has been described by many as giving developers, such as EDF, a blank cheque.

The real cost of Sizewell C will, of course, be the devastation of the environment and the major disruption that the residents, farmers and businesses of East Suffolk will suffer. 1,000 HGV journeys per day; thousands of outside workers travelling to/from the site; 24/7 noise, air and light pollution during the 10/12 year build; elevated road devastating Sizewell Marshes SSSI; new road cutting the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB in two; spoil heaps and borrow pits impacting large areas of the AONB; new roads/railway/7 roundabouts/accommodation blocks/cement batching plant; negative impact on RSPB Minsmere and the waterways; harm to tourism; priority consumption of 2 million litres of drinking water per day; 2.5 billion gallons of sea water sucked daily into the cooling pipes along with tons of fish and other marine life; encroachment on environmentally sensitive coastal strip; permanent structures on the beach; tons of greenhouse gases and other pollutants generated by the mining, milling, fabrication and enrichment of the uranium fuel; tons of carbon generated from the construction of the power station and its infrastructure and from the transportation of materials and personnel; and much more, is a heavy price to pay for a project that is a government choice, not an imperative.

For EDF to propose that electricity consumers cough up billions of pounds, payable to the French government, in advance, for such an assault on our precious coastal environment is an insult and an outrage. Surely now, people of East Suffolk will demand the project is cancelled and that EDF leave us in peace.

Chris Wilson