According to senior Cllr Andy Smith, at a Suffolk coastal erosion meeting (SCAR) only a few days ago, EDF are going to do their 3rd and final consultation about Sizewell C as early as January next year.

That's a real rush. By common understanding they simply haven't done the environmental assessments and lots of other work required by the planners. They have not been able to propose any solutions to the many traffic and other big isssues. Coastal and potable water issues are serious - millions of gallons of water wil be needed to mix the special nuclear cements and Suffolk acquifers could run dry. Even if they had done the work, they woudn't have found solutions because the problems are in any case insoluble.

So, the EDF statement (Anglian, Wed 28) that Sizewell C is the "next" project, but still needs to cross major business and cost hurdles looks odd indeed. We learn that EDF is to be an "invited" developer, not a "nominated" developer under proposed new Government rules (EN6 Mark 2). These rules will tighten some business and security standards for new nuclear, while posing new issues for environment protection. EDF also say that the project is "not set in stone".

So what's going on ? It looks like more muddle, just to keep the pot boiling. Or is the aim perhaps to get a licence from the planners quickly under current easier rules and then sit on it or sell it - maybe to their Chinese business partners ?

Whatever the case may be, it looks like more of the smoke and mirrors so beloved of politicians and top people. Especially since Minister & MP Therese Coffey at the same coastal meeting said there was no need to rush Sizewell C. For us lesser mortals, that is, the long suffering Suffolk public and voters and campaigners, EDF's Sizewell C project is looking less like an "Energy Gateway" and more like a cul-de-sac.

Not good for Suffolk, surely. Why doesn't EDF come clean, and "fess up" that it is not a sustainable or necessary or a Suffolk-suitable project. EDF could get socially responsible and do what it is being told to do in France: that is, follow other advanced nations, and get into renewables in a big way. EDF are doing this in Scotland already - so why not cancel Sizewell C, and get involved in renewable technologies ?

Regan Scott

Great Bealings

Sir/Madam,

Government seems to be determined to pursue a nuclear power policy which will leave future generations with a nuclear waste radiation legacy at least ten times greater than that we have inherited from the current Magnox, AGR and PWR programmes, the waste from which we still have no agreed long term management solution.  In justifying the new build programme, government is required to brush aside the nuclear waste conundrum with the assurance that ‘arrangements for its management are in place’, a statement which is irresponsible and untrue.

What should we think of a government which has such disregard for its people as to press ahead with a programme of work when the poisonous, radioactive and lethal waste that programme will generate has no acceptable long term means of being dealt with? Government plans have already lead to the devastation of large areas of forest and infringement on protected areas.  They will adversely alter the character of the areas in which the stations intend to be sited; they will threaten tens of thousands of people with the loss of their livelihoods and even of their lives in the event of a Fukushima-scale accident or deliberate terrorist attack which releases only a fraction of the radioactivity in the containment vessel or in a waste store.

Over the construction period of Sizewell C alone, it is estimated that there will be between 300 and 600 heavy goods vehicle journeys to and from the site along narrow country lanes and through sleepy Suffolk villages every day over the course of years.  Road widening, park-and-ride areas, worker campuses and wholesale clearances of vegetation will fundamentally alter the character of the areas blighted by these proposed developments. The routine operation of a nuclear plant is giving greater cause for alarm as evidence grows over the effects of low level radiation exposure, especially in the case of children and the very young who are known to be far more radio-sensitive than adults. While the government trumpets its new-found green credentials by finally accepting an EU directive for deposits on plastic bags, the nuclear waste stockpile grows and gives the lie to nuclear as being ‘clean’ and the government as being ‘green’. 

The tragedy is that nuclear is not an imperative, but a choice:  that has been shown time and time again by work undertaken by anti-nuclear NGOs and university departments, think tanks and policy consultants.  We can meet all our future electricity demands, climate change and cost targets without resorting to over-priced, dangerous and transgenerationally iniquitous nuclear.  The reasons government chooses nuclear and why it rebuffs every challenge to its policy are unfathomable unless you believe that government has lost any sense of reason or if you believe it is so wedded to the idea of nuclear weapons that it feels obliged to retain and develop the nuclear skills base by committing this country to a future of white-elephant nuclear plants, mounting volumes of nuclear wastes with nowhere to go and hare-brained schemes for a small modular reactor on every housing estate in the country.  We must forego the inexorable slide towards a plutonium economy and the dangerous future it will inevitably herald.  The voices of the government’s critics must be heeded.                 

Pete Wilkinson

Chairman, Together Against Sizewell ‘C’

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.