The story behind EDF’s decision to invest two-thirds of the £20 billion Hinkley Point project, a forerunner for the Sizewell C EPR development, is the subject of Patrick Benquet’s film, ‘The French Nuclear Trap’.

TASC will screen the UK premier of this film at Leiston Film Theatre on Sunday 29th September. The film runs for about 70 minutes, there is free entry, no pre-booking required and the doors open 2.30pm.

"Those who champion nuclear energy view the world through an industry, the decline of which they refuse to acknowledge. The revolution of renewables underway in our societies is seen as an attack. They stubbornly maintain that nuclear power generates safer and cheaper electricity than all the other energy sources… Our film strives to demonstrate that not only is this argument wrong, but that it is concealing a disastrous financial reality: the bill that future generations will have to pay due to nuclear power is colossal. Each nuclear disaster (Chernobyl, Fukushima), by increasing the obligation for new safety measures, sends costs spiralling and results in the construction of prototypes such as the EPR, which is exorbitant and so technologically complicated that many engineers are now saying that it will never work."

Patrick Benquet


TASC have grave concerns about the financial stability of EDF and the safety of their nuclear reactors following the announcement earlier this month that more welding problems have been identified in its nuclear reactor components, triggering a 7% fall in the company’s share price on the day of the announcement.

EDF has been dogged by repeated problems with the quality of nuclear reactor components, including the previously reported faulty welds in its flagship EPR project in Flamanville, France, as well as anomalies in the records for manufacturing other reactor components at the Creusot forge. These add to the concerns about the suitability of nuclear energy as a safe source of electricity following the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters. Despite EDF’s often repeated and wrongly claimed assertion that ‘the waste problems is solved’, nuclear power also faces a raft of as-yet unresolved issues – some of which are possible ‘show stoppers’ - of how to render some lethal radioactive waste safe and permanently isolated from the environment for thousands of years. There are additional doubts about the economic viability of new nuclear power as the costs of renewable energy plunges, highlighted by the recent offshore wind contracts being priced at less than half the price that EDF will be charging for electricity from the Hinkley Point C reactors if they are ever completed.

On 10th September the Financial Times reported,

EDF is engaged in a €45bn investment programme to prolong the life of its (French) fleet of nuclear power stations but must also invest in renewables and close 14 plants by 2035 as part of a push to cut the percentage of nuclear electricity used in France from 72 per cent to 50 per cent.

It must find the cash for all of that while carrying €37.4bn in net debt and roughly double that if some hybrid debt and its pension and nuclear liabilities are included.

The government injected billions into EDF through a €4bn capital raise in 2017, while the company’s previous chief financial officer quit over concerns about strains Hinkley Point, the UK-based power station, was putting on the balance sheet.”

Pete Wilkinson, TASC’s Chairman, said today, ‘It is now beyond credible that EDF can be given the responsibility to build EPRs in the UK. They are financially incompetent and the entire EPR programme – and hence the government’s nuclear energy component of its so-called energy policy – is in tatters. They face unresolved waste management problems, growing concerns about the health effect of routine radioactive waste discharges and mounting opposition in the east Suffolk area which faces devastation should Sizewell C be given approval. Time to dump nuclear and EDF along with it.’

Thanks to Dr. Paul Dorfman for his assistance to TASC with the film. CPBFILMS Paris for allowing us to Premier the documentary.



3 TASC members and several other groups are meeting with the Environment Agency

EDF are seeking planning permission for the relocation of several Sizewell B buildings.

TASC and many other groups firmly believe that EDF are trying to get ahead of the game by going to East Suffolk Council via the Town and Country Planning System instead of submitting their plans as part of the Sizewell C  Development Consent order to the Planning Inspectorate.

You will find the TASC objection among others via the East Suffolk Planning applications page at Put Sizewell B into the search box and it should come up as the first notice. If you wish to leave a comment on the planning site it is possible to do so, though you will have to register/login in order to submit it.
The RSPB are holding The first-ever Love Minsmere Festival, which will celebrate the local area of natural beauty, Minsmere and it's wildlife.
The link to the event is here

This information is copied from the 'Love Minsmere' page:

"On 15 September we'll be hosting the first-ever Love Minsmere Festival, to celebrate the reserve, its rare wildlife and to send a powerful message to EDF that we all Love Minsmere and want to see it protected from the impacts of Sizewell C.

Earlier this year, over 20,000 people like you emailed EDF Energy telling them why they must protect RSPB Minsmere nature reserve in their plans to build a new twin-nuclear reactor, which will bring the Sizewell estate right up to the border of this wildlife haven. The RSPB does not believe Sizewell is a suitable position for a new nuclear power station and we are yet to see the evidence in full which shows that wildlife and the reserve will be protected from the potential detrimental environmental impacts of Sizewell C. Now, during the fourth stage of public consultation, we want you to come down to the reserve so we can collectively declare to EDF that we all Love Minsmere.

We will be offering free entry on the day for everyone who RSVP's through Eventbrite and hosting a range of fun family activities and guided walks for everyone to enjoy. To add a party atmosphere we will be joined by a variety of local food and drink stalls who are also passionate about protecting Minsmere. The climax of the day will be at 1pm when we will all come together with one act of solidarity.

Sending a powerful message

We need to communicate the Love Minsmere message to EDF Energy in a powerful and clear way. To carry this out we will be creating the outline of the Love Minsmere love heart on Whin Hill at 1pm, one of the reserve’s most amazing viewpoints with the Sizewell estate in the background. To make this performance a successful and powerful visual reminder to EDF that we Love Minsmere, we need you, and 999 other Love Minsmere campaigners, to come down and take part"

The stge 4 consultation will run from July 18th until September 27th. We will put up details of the exhibitions and links to the documents once they are confirmed by EDF. We urge everyone to please submit their views and questions to the consultation. When it comes to opposing this monstrous carbuncle, every little helps!

EDF wiant to narrow the focus of the consultation to a few specific areas including transport and ecology. We do not have to agree to do so, and will ask them about other aspects of the development as we see fit.

Transport: There are a number of concerns about how materials and people will be transported in and out of Sizewell C. EDF had previously considered a range of strategies including marine-led, rail-led and road-led plans. In the third round of consultations EDF made clear that it was now only looking at rail-led or road-led strategies.

Environment: Environmental concerns about the nuclear power station focus on the RSPB Minsmere site and the Suffolk Coastal and Heaths AONB. Wildlife experts raised concerns at the start of the year that the station could have a "major adverse environmental impact" on the habitats at Minsmere including the loss of habitat for certain species as well as the disruption of wildlife during the construction process.

Accommodation: Concerns were raised in early 2017 about the proposed accommodation for 2,400 workers.

TASC Response: TASC is not surprised that there is to be a Stage 4 consultation as we and many others were gravely concerned about the lack of detail at Stage 3. However, it is TASC's view that the disruption that Sizewell C will cause on such a massive scale in the AONB and in the surrounding area of East Suffolk; that even with some major alterations it may still not be an acceptable development.Particularly with a view to habitat destruction, displacement of species, damage to the ecology of the area, and possible new roads, concern about lack of water supply and climate emergency. However, we will study EDF's further proposals and give them every consideration.