A Refreshing Political Sizewell C & D Reality check.

Dear Sir, How refreshing to read a letter from Rachel Smith-Lyte, parliamentary candidate for Suffolk Coastal Green Party, who said it all as it is, or would be if Sizewell C&D were allowed to proceed (EADT letter 14th. Oct. 2014). She has won me over!  Unlike the local MP who makes frequent statements to our the press simply following her party line, like most of her colleagues, not thinking about the subject at all and the consequences should this appalling proposal to build  Sizewell 'C&D' ( two reactors) on our fragile heritage coast go ahead. 

 Rachel Smith-Lyte pointed out very accurately many of the details of these resulting consequences. Barry Skelcher is another contributor to EADT and I know for a fact is a well qualified and knowledgeable authority on the subject of what would be a catastrophic disaster for this beautiful coast on which the Sizewell A&B already stand. Plus the newly installed on-site nuclear spent fuel store which will grow in size every year and be there for hundreds of years as Sellafield is full!

If plans proceeded we would be breaking the international RAMSAR agreement of which Britain was a major instigator and signatory. This was set up for the protection and preservation of sites such as Sizewell marshes, Sizewell belts, Kenton Hills, (SWLT), & Minsmere,(RSPB), National Trust sites and more. These are some of the existing established areas that would need to be 'trashed' in order for this scheme to proceed and it certainly would not be looked upon favourably by these conservation bodies or in fact, by the EU.

The recent agreement from Brussels, on the outrageous 'strike price' for 35 years for Hinkley Point, was a financial deal pursued by the British right wing Government to finance the project to be carried out by EDF, a publicly owned nationalised French company. However, each site, particularly conservation sites, will still need international consent. Would we simply tear up agreements that we have signed up to in order to proceed with the industrialisation of our heritage coast?

 Bob Hoggar & Audrey West

Sizewell 'B '& Spent fuel Depository is Enough!

Dear Sir,  My thanks are passed on to Mr Jim Crawford for his letter(EADT.15/12/14.in reply to my letter 11/12/14)  allowing all to continue this necessary debate.

He points out French owned EDF has invested £3.5 bill. across the UK over the past 3 years. Its reassuring to know, as nuclear industry is THEIR business. EDF, as I said, is owned mostly by the French Government and they are not running a nuclear charity for Britain.Investment, we are told, leads to profit.

 As was said in my letter, Sizewell 'B' is American designed and France has 50 of them, so they would know how to fix their product, along with some American input, which they did recently during the 'outage' seven week period. It was also reassuring to learn there were some local contracts awarded too. Also, thank you for pointing out that for the 500 workers employed at Sizewell, and likewise around Suffolk with tourism and heritage attractions, it can generate in the region of £40 mill. This supports the current situation that the heritage coast alone generates some £1.4 billion annually and the region as a whole some £8.billion, as was reported last summer.

Also, interestingly the workforce, we are told, all live within a 25 mile radius, avoiding longer journeys to Sizewell, their place of work. But isn't this a condition of employment there? due to the likelihood of an emergency necessitating a quick response. Regrettably for all that has happened over the years Leiston, in my view, does not seem to have benefitted from all of this wealth at all even being so close to the heritage coast and Sizewell itself.

 In the same EADT.(15th.Dec.) we had an article by David Green which covered the Suffolk Emergency planning officer, Mr A. Osman, having to respond to anti nuclear and Suffolk Stake Holder group concerns that the draft form of the Emergency Plan is misleading, inaccurate and inappropriate and was said to be worthless.( not my words).

When the CEGB. (Central Electricity Generating Board), owned and ran our energy requirements, we all new what each of us would pay, per unit. Since it was all rearranged, we seem to spend most of our spare time trying to arrange a tariff that won't offer the (mostly foreign owned) companiesmore profit  than they deserve and we all know how that's turned out.

This is why I concluded my letter, saying "Sizewell 'B' is here". Sizewell 'A' is now a spent fuel 'dump' for 'B'. When Sizewell B was given permission in 1986 local people were not told that its spent fuel would have to be kept on site. It was always understood that there would be an off site disposal facility. However, the spent fuel will now remain at Sizewell for many years into the future as Sellafield, we are given to understand, is full to bursting!

 Sizewell and Suffolk have given enough. Lets enjoy what's left of our fragile Heritage Coast for the nation and ourselves. Its precious! Lets not 'TRASH' it all with the two proposed monsters, their 5000 itinerant workers,  traffic chaos, footpath closures, beach exclusions for up to15 years and in the process wrecking the established natural environment, ANOB's, SSSI's and the like.

This is just political madness and why we have no faith in politicians.

Bob Hoggar, Halesworth IP19 8DN

Sizewell 'B' Seven weeks off line for refuelling.

I refer to the article by Richard Cornwell about the seven week £60m refuelling work, just completed, at Sizewell B nuclear power station. We are told these maintenance periods are required every 18 months so that's £120m cost to the consumer every 36 months? It is stated that wind power is not reliable enough, neither is nuclear it seems and that's without the cost of eventual reprocessing, which never gets mentioned in the overall cost of nuclear power. We are told Sellafield is now full so it seems we are about to start storing unprocessed highly toxic waste from Sizewell 'B' on site at Sizewell 'A' for centuries. Nice little legacy for our next and many more generations to come.

 Also, 1200 specialist French? staff, highly skilled on high salaries, were engaged in the task for French owned EDF. It was like being on holiday in France, listening to the French conversations in my local. A "bonjour messieurs" was hardly necessary as their command of English was impeccable. It follows that their substantial remunerations also finished up in France too. I understand France has 58 nuclear power stations. 50 are of USA design and 8 of French design. Furthermore I have learned France is not building anymore on French soil apart from one unfinished project which is running late and with, lets just say, 'problems' owing to the fact that a new international directive confines disposal of nuclear waste to the country of origin.

France is now confronting a mounting problem of storage of their increasing nuclear waste that Britain could well have in the not too distant future. So let Sizewell 'B', the American designed power station, be the last along this fragile 'Heritage coast'.

 Bob Hoggar, Halesworth


The Nations Former 'Household Silver' and sold off assets
Dear Sir, 
I feel I have to write this letter to you so that I may thank Barry Skelcher, a regular contributor
to your '' Letters to the  Editor's page in EADT. He writes with such clarity of thought. I just wish there were more
of him amongst us.
His last letter outlined the way the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) was taken and 'privatised'.
The "finest in the world", he said and I have no reason to doubt that. We, have now experienced the alternative energy providers for too many years, mostly foreign. It still being virtually impossible to be sure one has the 'best deal' for oneself from these companies.
It's their job to get the best profits for their country, share holders and themselves.
It was a certain Margeret Thatcher,(MT), who set a programme in train of asset stripping the nation during the 1980's ably assisted by ministers such as Nicholas Ridley, Keith Joseph and possibly other family members well versed in these matters. She being a Chemist and not an economist.
The late prime minister, Sir Harold Macmillan, famously warned her not to take the nations public assets, "the household silver", sell them and treat the proceeds as income for the Conservative Party and Treasury, which was then under the leadership of the Chancellor Nigel Lawson, later sacked by (MT).
These assets did not belong to the Conservative Party and chums in the city, they belonged to the nation! Put together after a long hard fought  2nd world war and skillfully managed along with huge war debts. Yes, it was difficult but then we had a real sense that we really were "in it together''. The first asset put together was the NHS. Even this is now under threat, make no mistake. American providers are just sitting on the fence like vultures, waiting for their moment to pounce, knowing what a lucrative market it could be. with vast profits for them. As it was with the BT sell off to the USA just after BT had mastered fibre optics. A real money maker for  the new owners!
The losers of the second world war have shown us the way forward since. They use inclusive management with workforce, not autocratic governance and direction. What amuses me, is how recently after years of asset stripping and dismantling our inferstructure and apprenticeships  (and I served a traditional one 60 years ago) they are now being reinvented. But unfortunately there isn't now the depth of skill at the ''face'' to pass on to the young.
As can be seen with all redundant experienced skills, be they nurses, midwives, or carpenters and bricklayers and others.
Bob Hoggar. Halesworth.


Shame Halesworth solar park couldn't be 'mitigated'

Shame about the solar park near Halesworth, a loss to renewable energy. But interesting to note that local planners and politicians have placed such a high value on the beautiful Suffolk landscape and harm to the surrounding countryside (EADT 21st October). Why no mention of ‘mitigations’, the national buzzword of government policy to push through really big infrastructure projects, and the excuse being given, so far, by local decision makers about the massive Sizewell C & D project. Here, they claim, their hands are tied by special narrow, national planning rules, so mitigation has to be the order of the day.

So somehow the landscape and tourism and its jobs, and as many as 30 protected wildlife and nature areas and all of the communities on the 10 year building materials routes don’t seem to warrant similar protection for their landscape and Suffolk environment values .  Why have national organisations supposed to protect nature and birds and rare species and coastal habitats being going down the mitigation road too ?  Why is the joint Suffolk County and Suffolk Coastal Council Group in confidential talks with EdF about mitigations, instead of defending Suffolk’s essential identity and natural assets. Why does Suffolk’s much promoted Nature Strategy not mention Sizewell at all, and only plan detailed work on nature assets for 2016, and on renewable energy for 2018 when EdF hopes it will already have a green light for its non renewable project ?

They argue that their hands are tied by government. That’s wrong: only the national planning inspectors’ hands are thought to be tied, but that's not true either. They and EdF have to legally consider alternatives for every aspect of the project if Sizewell proves not suitable on proper planning and environmental and risk grounds. And other national sites are available.

What about mitigation itself ?  Ask the wildlife and protected beauty spots. How can they be moved sustainably, without risk. Can famous Minsmere, icon of Areas  of Outstanding Natural Beauty, according to the AA’s Heritage landscapes, be mitigated and remain an honest icon ? Can a huge permanent bridge and vast pier in the sea to carry 140 tonnes nuclear fuel loads be mitigated ? How can a 10 year traffic nightmare be mitigated, or a fall in house prices along miles and miles of road ?

The answer is that mitigation for Suffolk would be an unmitigated disaster - that’s why some of us who have thought things through say overall ‘No’ to Sizwell C & D.