A letter to the Journal in response to A Pro Sizewell C letter by Mr Bob Howitt: 26/03/14

Bob Howitt suggests that children visiting Sizewell might wonder about the energy it may provide during their lifetime. (Journal, March 14th). I think they may ponder on the waste it will provide for the lifetime of their children, grandchildren and for generations to come . Mr Howitt thinks that nuclear power sites clean up rather nicely (Fukushima? Chernobyl?) - How would he know, given that no UK nuclear power station has ever been successfully decommissioned. Sizewell A was supposed to be returned to a greenfield site within 25-30 years of it ceasing to operate, but In 2009 decommissioning was delayed by 75 years 1 because of problems dealing with the waste at the reprocessing plant at Sellafield in Cumbria .

(As an example of how good we are at nuclear clean up, In 2009 George Beveridge, Sellafield's deputy managing director said of building B30 at Sellafield, commonly known as dirty 30, "It is the most hazardous industrial building in western Europe" and next door , building B38 is “the second most hazardous industrial building in Europe"2 )

The dry store currently under construction at Sizewell B is being built because the cooling ponds are filled to capacity. When the power station was opened in 1995, it was believed a solution would be found for the waste by now. The solution is no nearer today than it was when the power station was built. Unlike Mr. Howitt I am not convinced that our children will be thrilled to examine the pile of over 1000 tonnes of nuclear waste due to be stored at the Sizewell B waste dump.

It is estimated that the current UK nuclear sites will cost over £100 billion and will take over 100 years to decommission. The ethics of building a nuclear power station on a crumbling flood prone coast that will produce hazardous waste that we leave for future generations to contend with should be discussed now. We cannot wait, as Mr Howitt suggests, until the power station is on the brink of construction.



Category: Local Letters