I refer to the article EADT 31st May in which Paul Morton, Sizewell B station director, announced EDF are to close the plant for two months. He boasts it is for routine maintenance it having run for 485 days producing low carbon energy. This is the only time nuclear is 'low carbon', while the reactor runs between outages. 485 days this time, is not even 18 months as stated, which is 545 days! Was there an urgency which brought about a 60 days (two months) early closure which us locals should know about? With an increase of 200 imported specialists more than the normal 1000, was it the urgency of the work to the turbines necessitating this early closure or maybe other important issues? Will the normal £60mill cost for this outage be exceeded I wonder?

Now begins the real high carbon production as Sizewell B is 'switched off' when the 1200 highly skilled specialists are flown in from around the world. Along with the 538 regular  workers employed at SW B, an extra 262 employees to total 800 as stated, will descend on the 'shut down' to carry out, I presume, the general maintenance tasks, while the highly skilled 1200 will endeavor to move some of the very dangerous spent fuel rods to what are known as 'the ponds'. All requiring immense amounts of outside sourced electricity from the National Grid  to run all of their massive demands. The spent fuel rods will sit in the ponds for 5 years when, after, they will be moved to the American designed 'Hi Storm ' 6 metre high containers we have seen shown off in earlier EADT feature articles and placed on site in the £200million dry fuel hanger for centuries. Until such time, we are told, a so called 'Geological Deposit Facility' site can be secured. Once there, to be stored for at least 20,000 years, buried deep into the earth and having to be accessed at all times to monitor the casings condition for lethal leakages. 'Low carbon,' don't make me laugh Mr Paul Morton.

As I said in an earlier letter, this is really dangerous stuff we are dealing with, a cupful if exposed onto the centre spot at a sports stadium would kill everybody in a few minutes. (BBC Radio Four Programme 'Dismantling a Nuclear Power Station')

From the dangerous  mining of the uranium, global transportation, conversion to enriched nuclear power station plutonium, designing and building the complicated plants over decades, outages and eventual decommissioning and dismantling over tens of decades all creating very high carbon and of course the waste storage forever!   Don't be fooled by the sales promotion rhetoric and PR.

Bob Hoggar

Sir,
Mr Hazelwood in his letter of the 13th June, trivialises the concerns about nuclear power generation expressed by Mr Bob Hoggar .
Mr Hazelwood must be aware that over four thousand people have died or are dying as a result of exposure to radio activity following the Chernobyl meltdown.
It is estimated that over one thousand people will die as a result of exposure to radio activity following the Fukushima disaster.
 
There are many deaths from Leukaemia and other cancers that have been directly attributed to exposure to radio activity and nuclear waste.
 
For these death to be trivialised by Mr Hazelwood by comparing them with terrorist attacks and airplane crashes is totally unacceptable.
Moreover, he makes no attempt to respond to Mr Hoggar’s recent and previous expressions of concern related to the long term dangers associated with the building of Sizewell nuclear power stations.
The Sizewell power stations have been constructed on a sinking coastline faced with a rising sea level.
As Mr Hoggar has so wisely pointed out previously, it is not a question of whether these power stations and their contents will go into the sea, it is merely a question of when.
Of even greater concern we now learn that the nuclear waste from Sizewell can no longer go to the polluted sub strata of Sellafield but will have to be stored in a bunker on the beach at Sizewell.
This dangerous waste will be there for our future generations for one thousand years – almost certainly eventually spewing irradiation beneath the surface of our North Sea.
 
There is no other country in the world that would consider building a nuclear power station and a nuclear waste dump on the beach of sinking coastline faced with a rising sea level.
The EDF stations in Western France were built of rising coastlines – nevertheless the French will build no more in that environment.
 
Mr Hazelwood is amongst many people who can think only think in the short term.
Mr Hoggar was thinking in the long term and thinking of future generations.
Our Nation needs more Bob Hoggars.
M. Deighton
 
 

sir, It's quite amazing to learn of the rapid progress being made in the USA and Germany and other countries towards  the advancement of photo voltaic technology. It has quadrupled the efficiency of renewable energy generation.  It will  speed up even more within a very short period of time now. It will continue to offer the efficient use and storage of all of that free energy from the sun, wind and elsewhere to assist if we are serious about slowing  down climate change, to not exceed  the necessary one point five decree centigrade. We must act immediately or face annilation in the longer term. The wind will certainly blow and the sun will shine. We must therefore take full advantage of using renewable energy as it holds the key for the future for our younger generations who will  follow us and hopefully it will make the  planet more manageable for them. Alternatively, if we persist  with nuclear power, we will be adding to and leaving them with even more mountains of highly toxic dangerous nuclear waste, unable to be dealt with. A cupful  placed in the centre at a football stadium would kill everybody in approx. 15 minutes. (Radio Four programme, ' Dismantling a  nuclear power station' ). Dangerous stuff!  We are currently stock piling and leaving it all  behind in inadequate six metre high 200 tonne containers, over a hundred of these required for Sizewell B alone, without Sizewell C, and all for our next generations to sort out? This nuclear waste  will remain very dangerous for thousands of years. All in order that we can continue to pursue our selfish way of life. Somewhat  like the mountains of plastic waste generated over recent time, and us suddenly becoming aware of it despite being warned constantly for decades .

Young people are demanding action to arrest catastrophic climate change particularly with the wonderful 16 year old  Greta Thunberg acting in such a mature way above her tender years.  She says we have to change fast and I hope she is listened to.  Time to rapidly change direction and a good start would be to immediately cancel Sizewell C. I have just returned from a visit to and tour around Hinkley Point C nuclear project and from what I saw I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.   A method of creating energy with a huge carbon footprint despite the deception put forward in its defence. Finding a solution to the waste, and in association 'Hi carbon' use,  will go on for centuries as there is no final safe solution for the poor unfortunates who will follow us.

Bob Hoggar Halesworth

Sir/Madam,

At a meeting in Bramfield village hall, ten days ago, the EdF representative addressing the audience stated that there is now a solution to nuclear waste. That is a seriously over-stated bit of propaganda from the nuclear industry and a deliberate twist on the actual situation, no doubt designed to convince people that they can stop worrying about the management of nuclear waste. Sadly, the statement is not borne out by the facts. No matter how many times something is repeated, it doesn’t necessarily make it true. Every agency associated with the nuclear industry, from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to the Environment Agency, employs this tactic of saying something over and over again in the hope that it will cease to be something over which people express concern.

They do so despite being fully aware that the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM), of which I was a member between 2003 and 2007, recommended disposal as the ‘least worst option’ for the management of radioactive waste rather than the ‘best’ option and only did so given ‘the current state of knowledge’. It assumed that the state of knowledge would progress to a more sophisticated solution than one which involves sticking the waste in a hole in the ground. Moreover, CoRWM conditioned its recommendation particularly around the generation of new nuclear waste which it explicitly excluded from its recommendations as the creation of a new inventory of hotter and more radioactive waste throws up a different set of problems – technical, scientific, moral, environmental and societal – than those associated with the management of a waste inventory which already exists.

After the withdrawal of the Cumbria County Council in 2013 from the attempt to use the Copeland site, the revised ‘Managing Radioactive Waste Safely’ programme has taken six years to reach the point where Radioactive Waste Management Ltd (RWM) is now actively seeking a volunteer community. At present, there are no takers and therefore there is no site and no idea of the transport requirements to and from that site, nor the configuration, depth or other characteristics of a potential site; there is contention over the adequacy of the cladding for the thousands of spent fuel rods which will need to be disposed of, doubt about the confidence we can place on the long term safety of a repository, no final determination of the sub-strata in which the repository should be built and, crucially, many critical scientific and technical issues that RWM are still trying to resolve which may yet demonstrate that disposal is unsafe. The industry tells people there is a solution to nuclear waste management: that is not true and its representatives should have the courage to admit that to audiences by at least using a conditional ‘potential’ or ‘possible’ adjective when mentioning ‘solution’.

At the Bramfield meeting, I was told that I have a ‘philosophical difference’ of view about these matters. The difference is not philosophical but factual and the fact is that we do not have a solution to radioactive waste management. What we have is a theoretical solution which has a long way to go before it can be called safe and secure. The people of east Suffolk already live with a few hundred tonnes of lethal spent PWR fuel and an unimaginable amount of resulting radioactivity. Sizewell C and D, should they ever be built, will add a massive additional burden to that already bourn by this community. That burden could be shouldered for many decades or even centuries into the future by generations who will have derived no putative benefits from the existence of Sizewell A, B, C or D. Representatives of a responsible developer have an obligation to be honest with people about the nature and the consequences of the additional risks they wish to foist on the people of Suffolk.

Sincerely

Pete Wilkinson