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