Dear Sir
I have visited the EDF Consultation 2 exhibition currently circulating local towns and villages in an attempt to reassure everybody of their plans for Sizewell C. After four years of waiting for this arrive, for them to produce the information just a few weeks before Christmas when everybody's attention is elsewhere, leads me to suspect their proposals are not steeped in confidence. I would urge as many of you as you can to visit and also read the documents. I was horrified to discover that Sizewell marsh, which is under the proposed vast reactor and machinery area, is to be excavated to a depth of 20 metres (80 feet) removing millions of tonnes of virgin peat which has lain there for many thousands of years, a time when there was no shoreline or it was miles towards Holland and Europe and the area was forest. Peat holds a huge quantity of carbon dioxide, the very material we are all trying to capture or reduce in order to lower global temperatures and hopefully save humanity. In addition to this, I learned on referring to Section 5 of the document, that huge borrow pits are to be excavated to obtain on-site gravel for making millions of tons of concrete. These, I was told, would also be very deep, 20 metres maybe. One thing is sure, they are very close to Minsmere, Eastbridge and Theberton. I would assume batching plants will simply mix and lorry the concrete a short distance to site. I was told eventually, when all is done, the removed peat and subsoil heaps from under the reactors will simply fill in the gravel pits. It makes easier construction for them but a nightmare for our wildlife and special protection areas. There will have to be bright lights, perimeter fencing and lots of NOISE and VIBRATION throughout.

I also learned there are to be two 1000 place car parks, landscaped and semi permanent for the duration. One at Darsham and one near Marlesford, both next to the A12. Workers cars will arrive, some presumably before 5am, after having from up to a 90 minute commute. It is said, the occupants will then 'bus' to site! Some 350 to 400 trips per day. The car parks will open at 5 am and continue until 1am the following morning, 24/7, presumably for the 10 year plus contract. How much carbon this exercise will generate I dread to think.
Close to site, and Leiston, Eastbridge and Theberton, there will be three and four, possibly five storey accommodation blocks constructed for a 2400 workforce. The remaining 600, it is now proposed, will occupy a caravan park close to Leiston. On-site workers will have migrated from around Britain and I suppose those with special skills from Europe and elsewhere.
It will take a MINIMUM of ten years to build these two power stations. That is approx. 15% of its lifespan, or 1/6, if they last 60 years. Each year or so they will need maintenance 'OUTAGES' when they are shut down, as with Sizewell B. No electricity will be generated while the spent fuel rods are changed. Currently specialists are imported from France and USA and the last outage at Sizewell B cost approx. £60million. Fuel rods are now stored on-site in containers each weighing nearly 300 tonnes. Roger Stearn pointed out in a letter, EADT 29th Nov, radioactive waste needs storing FOREVER. Also, it has recently been proven that renewable energy is now far cheaper especially as storage batteries are being perfected at an astonishing speed in the USA.
I have highlighted these points as I consider it is only fair for those who would perhaps have liked to visit the EDF second stage consultation, having waited 4 years, but unable with Christmas being so close and for many, a priority at this time. With that in mind I'm hoping EDF would agree that these important matters do need full consideration. As Nichola Hughes said, EADT letters 28th Nov, do the exercise again next Spring when we can all concentrate on such important issues.
Bob Hoggar,  Halesworth, Suffolk

Sir/Madam,

EdF has announced that a further ‘consultation’ will take place, commencing later this month, into its plans to saddle this county with a massive white elephant in the shape of Sizewell C (and D, as there are plans for two reactors at the site). While the holding of ‘consultations’ allows the industry to tick a box or two, it does nothing to address the fact that at no point since Blair announced in 2005 that ‘nuclear power is back on the agenda with a vengeance’, have the people of Suffolk had an opportunity to hear all the facts about and, more importantly, to express their view as to the need and desirability or otherwise of Sizewell C. The upcoming ‘consultation’ denies them that opportunity again. Where is the forum for people to say ‘no thanks’ to the entire project rather than to express a view as to how they would like the deckchairs arranged on the deck of a sinking ship and have their views listened to? There isn’t one and there never has been one. Therefore the stage two consultation is illegitimate as it still does not offer the opportunity for both sides of the debate to be made available to the public in a clearly presented document nor to register a view for or against Sizewell C but assumes that it is an inevitability, a foregone conclusion, slavishly supported by our local, regional and national representatives as well as the local wildlife NGOs, to their shame.

All of these agencies are in thrall to the nuclear industry and are chronically ill-informed of the consequences of allowing SZC to go ahead.They refuse to speak out against it and appear to be prepared to sacrifice the area for short-term jobs, patronage and ‘regeneration’. Their view, as summed up by the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, is let’s have jobs and growth today and not worry about the waste with nowhere to go and which will remain deadly for centuries, the health consequences which are still being debated in terms of leukaemia in children, the environmental disruption, the infringement on the area of outstanding natural beauty, the inadequacy of the emergency evacuation plan in the event of an accident or terrorist attack and nor the fact that the plant’s electricity is likely to be surplus to requirements by the time it is built. The Sizewell C enterprise is costly, environmentally disastrous, unsafe and leaves Suffolk residents more vulnerable to terrorism.

If the people of Suffolk want to see the character of their county changed forever by new road schemes, park-and-rides, compulsory purchases, massive increases in heavy goods traffic, new pylons which will whisk the electricity down to London while we bear the risks, with lethally hot and radioactive waste stored on an eroding coast for centuries, then they should tick the box and await the mayhem which will arrive with the thousands of workers from outside the area.If they value their county and the tranquillity of a rural environment as it has remained for so long, then they will tell the government and nuclear industry to get lost.

Pete Wilkinson

Theresa May does well to look at the fine print on Hinkley C. Thousands of pages, apparently, some of it secret UK -France agreements. One known clause of concern will be the termination date for the whole project: if it is not up and running by 2032 that's it. Big white elephant in Somerset.

The other fine print isn't there, if experts - and common sense - are right: the UK has no compensation clauses, while the Chinese have cost and completion date penalty clauses. Instead we've had to pay for the insurance for everyone else - hence Mr Osborne's £2bn.

Mrs May has plenty of time too, more than likely  as much as 3 years, not "early Autumn". Even with the "final investment decision" just made in Paris, EDF had already announced a start up date three years further on, sometime in 2019. That gives only 13 years to be up and running.....EDF have not yet achieved that anywhere.

In any case, there is a whole lot still to happen in these three years. Money is the heart of the matter. Anyone familiar with EDF finances knows that this year's annual report for the UK operations - due April/May next year - and covering Sizewell B - will be interesting: is even this station now running profitably with low overall energy prices ? EDF may have got 3bn euros from the French government, but they still need to sell off world assets worth twice that to provide the cash to build at Hinkley.

And remember, the Finnish Government are stil in court over their unfinished EPR, seeking compensation for delays.

Then there are major Hinkley design changes to reduce costs. The build cost has recently been reduced from £24 bn (which justified the high strike price) to £16bn plus a bit for inflation, now £18bn. Design changes are likely to reduce safety devices etc. This will all take time too.

Has Brexit changed anything:? Yes, it allows the UK government to directy subsidize all nuclear plants,not just inkley as a special case. The other two nuclear companies on Anglesey  and at Sellafieldhave said they need outside investors and will want their "fair share" of the subsidy price. Maybe even Mrs May can't afford that. Certainly as taxpayers we can't - and shouldn't - either.

And here ? Suffolk businessmen and politicians boasting about £100 million a year etc from Sizewell C (&D) need to get real: their nuclear pipe dreams are blighting Suffolk, not developing it. Whatever happened to cost-benefit analysis? New Sizewell is not community cost free. EDF locally said three years ago they didn't have money for new roads and "mitigations" and compensation. Surely that's even more true today than then. What a sorry mess.

Over to you Mrs May. Take as much time as you need !


Regan Scott

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd (letter, April 21, ‘Minister: Hinkley no risk to power supply’) clearly has the gift of clairvoyance.  She says that no liabilities would fall to the UK tax payer or consumer should Hinkley Point C be cancelled.  Notwithstanding the subsidies from the public purse already handed over to the nuclear industry in the last ten years in the form of ministerial support, conferences, promotional events, paying expensive consultancies and general palm greasing, who, pray, would foot the bill to complete the Hinkley project should EdF withdraw after a few years of construction when cost and time over-runs became apparent as they have with other projects in France and Finland?  And assuming the plant ever began generating its costly electricity, who would be responsible for the waste management costs, the size of which can only be estimated since the location, depth, technical details about cladding, inventory or even if there will ever be a repository remain stubbornly vague and could yet result in indefinite storage on site?  Spent nuclear fuel from a notional Hinkley C or Sizewell C will be on their respective sites for an estimated160 years, assuming Amber Rudd’s clairvoyant prediction of a 60 year operating lifetime for Hinkley doesn’t suffer from terminal technical problems.  Who take title to hundreds of tonnes of spent nuclear fuel if, as is likely, within that period of time, EdF disappears and the repository proves to be impossible to construct or is shown to be fraught with too many technical and scientific problems?  As usual, the public purse would be required to bail out a private venture. Amber Rudd’s claim of ‘no liabilities’ is as irresponsible as a short term response to legitimate concerns as government’s energy policy will prove to be in the long term.  Better to cancel Hinkley, Sizewell and all the other nuclear plans now while some semblance of energy policy credibility remains than to see it unravel in the most embarrassing way over the coming decades leaving communities like ours to carry the can for official incompetence and governmental obsession with a nuclear fix. 

Pete Wilkinson

Chairperson

Together Against Sizewell C

www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/apr/27/non-nuclear-options-for-constant-energy

An important dimension is missing in your update on EDF’s Hinkley Point project. It’s a question of what the latest £18 bn project figure from EDF actually means in relation to the other still much quoted figure of £24.5 bn.

This much higher figure originally came from the Brussels Competition Commission in 2013 and has to be assumed to be an overall project cost. The lower figure has to be assumed to be the accepted build cost for two reactors at £8bn each uprated by £2bn for inflation by EDF CEO J-B Levy in October last year. Mr Osborne’s £2bn support, whatever it is actually for, would seem to slot into the gap between the build figure and the overall project figure, while Energy Minister Rudd’s letter to Parliament citing a £2bn to £19bn risk to the public purse seems to make sense of the project cost being considerably higher than the build cost. It preceded the EDF £18bn figure.

The much higher Brussels’ Commission figure, presumably also in need of uprating for inflation, must have helped initially with justifying the high strike price of £92.50 pmwh. If the lower build cost had been used, this price would have seemed even more generous - or scandalous - than it is.

The difference matters crucially. If the higher figure is a real project cost, it leaves EDF and China’s CGN still short of several £billion, since their public figuring is associated with the new £18bn figure. Mr Osborne’s £2bn won’t bridge that gap. If, on the other hand, the Brussels figure was a sleight of hand, it will hopefully be picked up the European Court of Justice when they examine the challenge from the Austrian government.

A key question is what exactly the strike price aid is for. Maybe even the Commission could come back if EDF have changed any of the project financing terms which were agreed in April last year. If the cost is now only £18bn, there’s a good argument for that.

Critics of the whole project- and I’m one - might quite reasonably think the difference is just an allowance to reflect the utterly predictable cost overrun for EDF’s EPR reactors. Or maybe that’s just an extra problem to add to all the others.

Regan Scott
Great Bealings, Suffolk