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