Two TASC members visited Hinkley Point and gave us this report.

After being accepted on to the tour we were asked to report to the EDF visitor centre in Bridgewater at 10 am. Once there we were asked for ID and, at random, some of us had to be searched. Those who were not selected for searching were asked to sit down while those who were, Bob was one, were taken aside and body searched by an officious G4S woman in uniform. He had to take clothes off but she declined when he offered to remove his trousers too!

It was emphasised that no cameras or phones could be used on the tour.

There were about 25 of us. A mixed bunch, some lads from the local college, some middle aged folk who looked as though they had been before and were interested in the progress at the site, and Bob and me. Once we were all sitting down we were given the whole EDF glossy presentation with slides and usual emphasis on jobs and what they are contributing to schools and the community.

We were then herded out to a waiting coach and driven out of Bridgewater to the site. As we travelled along the ‘guide’ was quick to point out the new bypass, large roundabouts and road improvements put in place before construction started and how traffic management cameras control where commuter, delivery and construction vehicles are allowed to go. We had noticed, however, signs directing delivery vehicles through residential areas on the outskirts of the town.

When we reached the site we were shocked at the size of it. It is enormous!! To imagine it at Sizewell is frightening. At the moment they are building the first reactor site and it is 180 hectares, 245 football pitches, and will grow ‘slightly’ to accommodate the second reactor construction. They didn’t say by how much. We noticed the number of cranes of all sizes. We counted 36 and the guide boasted that very soon the biggest crane in the world, ‘Big Carl’, would arrive from Ghent to lift enormous loads such as reactor vessels.

The size of the spoil heaps are beyond belief and the huge dumper trucks, which take 100 tons and loaded in 90 seconds, moving up and down them look miniscule. There are also huge rock crushers making various grades of material. The batching plants are as enormous as we have seen and controlled by a PHD engineer responsible for 17 different grades of concrete.

The concrete sea wall was pointed out under which the seawater cooling tunnels will be bored. Two 3.3km intake, one 2km outfall. The huge 7m dia. pipe sections were in the lay up area along with the boring machine and drilling heads which would be left at the end of the tunnels when they are complete because they are too big to retrieve.

All this time on the tour it was impossible to assess the full impact of the noise because the coach was sealed and sound proof. They are allowed up to 65 decibles during the day and 40 decibles at night, we were told.

We saw the on-site accommodation blocks. These take 510 workers and cost £35 a day full board. These are right on the edge of the site. Others in Bridgewater are capable of taking 986. Two thirds of the work force will rent privately in the area or be home based. The commute is up to 90 minutes, as with Sizewell, and we pointed out that this represents 60 miles plus 10 to 12 miles from park and ride to site. 70 plus miles each way to work. There are 50 nationalities on site!

A geodesic dome under construction was pointed out on site to cover the reactor vessel. Having learnt from Flamanville that they need protection from the weather!

It was pointed out that fish deterrent apparatus is still being negotiated.

The 5km jetty was used to dump water from the dewatering of the site into the sea.

After the coach returned to Bridgewater we met Alan Jeffrey, from Stop Hinkley. We had lunch together and spent a couple of hours talking with him.

This text was copied from an article on the Montel website. The link is here
French utility EDF must repair faulty welds on its new generation European pressurised reactor (EPR) Flamanville or reinforce the under construction plant, the ASN nuclear safety authority said.
These were the “two options currently on the table”, said ASN president Bernard Doroszczuk during a presentation of the watchdog’s annual safety report to parliamentarians on Thursday.

The ASN would announce a final decision on which course to take next month, he added, with Montel having reported earlier this week that this would happen once its group of experts had met on 6 June.

“Complex operation”

While repairing the welds was “quite feasible”, reinforcing the 1.6 GW plant could be a “complex operation” for which the unit was not necessarily conceived, said Doroszczuk.

However, the “French nuclear industry is currently facing a skills shortage”, which could complicate things, he added. 

Repairing the welds could push back the planned start-up of the reactor early next year by two years to 2022, sources told Montel last month.    

Last July, EDF delayed the 1.6 GW EPR launch by yet another year due to the defective welds. It also raised the total estimated cost of construction by EUR 400m to EUR 10.9bn.

Linda Pentz Gunter from Beyond Nuclear International wrote an article about Sizewell C for the BNI website on 31-03-19. A link to the article is here
Below is an extract:

"The Sizewell reactors sit on a windswept beach just yards from a sea that has already consumed ancient villages as the coastline changed and eroded over the centuries. Now the sea level rise that will come with climate change promises in time to drown a few more, most likely including the Sizewell nuclear site. Undeterred, the French government nuclear company, EDF, insists it will build a new reactor at Sizewell — one of its ill-fated EPR design that is already struggling at Flamanville, Olkiluoto and Hinkley. Just from a climate change point of view, it is an exercise in insanity. But there is so much more at stake.

The local activist group, Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) has been challenging the EDF plan for years, even as Sizewell sits permanently second in the queue behind the ever more delayed and ever more exorbitant sister site at Hinkley C in Somerset, where EDF is attempting to build two EPRs. Despite the technical problems, cost over-runs and the obscene strike price EDF scored off the UK government — which would almost triple current electricity rates — the company insists in can build Sizewell C more cheaply than Hinkley C and that construction could start within the next three years. It’s a pretty tall order and, arguably, total French farce."

TASC

29-03-2019

TASC have submitted their response to the 3rd Stage of the Sizewell C consultation. A copy of it can be downloaded here

  • RSPB concerns

  • Petitions gather pace

  • Artists, actors and businesspeople express concern

  • Outrage at scale of environmental impact

  • TASC’s devastating response to EdF’s third stage consultation

Together Against Sizewell C  believes that plans for a new nuclear development at Sizewell have been exposed as entirely inadequate in the last few weeks.

TASC’s Chairman, Pete Wilkinson, said today, ‘Since the delivery of a 1500 petition to the Leader of Suffolk County Council earlier this month, we have seen a surge in support for our position of outright opposition to Sizewell, local artists and actors voicing their concerns and the RSPB warning that the most important bird reserve in the country, Minsmere, is potentially threatened by the Sizewell development. Our petitions are attracting more and more signatures and we are convinced that the hurdles to building such a complicated and dangerous plant in such a confined and remote area will be recognised as overwhelming and terminal. With recent increased media interest in the issue, people are waking up to the sheer scale of the environmental and infrastructure changes the plant will require and they are becoming more and more vocal in opposition. It is very encouraging.’

Joan Girling, TASC’s Secretary and life-long Suffolk resident, has finalised TASC’s response to EdF’s third stage consultation and has concluded that the environmental case against the Sizewell C development plans is overwhelming. It has been submitted to EdF and seeks answers which will reveal further detailed information on a range of issues and the scale of impact on which the consultation documentation has been woefully lacking, viz

  • Suitability of the site: Sizewell has always been referred to by government as a potential’ site. TASC submits that at 32 hectares it is too small for the proposed development.

  • It will require the loss of 5 hectares of the SSSI.

  • Visual intrusion created by the plant will negatively affect the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB as well as despoiling the Heritage Coast.

  • The quantities and the destination of the thousands of tonnes of peat and clay requiring removal from the development site.

  • The discharge arrangements resulting from the de-watering of the site and the means of dealing with millions of tonnes of acidic waste.

  • Overall water management in an area deeply affected by climate change.

  • Details of the quantities of aggregates, cement, and water required for the build.

  • Levels of resulting noise, light and particulate pollution

Joan Girling said, ‘Our detailed report clearly demonstrates three things:

  • we require much more information from EdF before we can fully appreciate the impact of their plans;

  • even on the information available, it is clear that the dis-benefits associated with Sizewell C far outweigh the putative benefits, and

  • EdF must plan for a fourth round of consultation.

But the overall message is that EdF should follow the lead of NuGen and others and pack their bags and leave us and this tranquil and invaluable part of Suffolk alone.’

For further information contact Pete Wilkinson, Chairperson, TASC on 07940 524 831 or Joan Girling, TASC Secretary 01728 830965  

Protestors and two Suffolk councils joined forces in calling for more information from EDF on its proposals to build a new multi-million pound nuclear power plant at Sizewell.

TASC members with placards and banners went to show their opposition to EDF’s current proposals at a council cabinet meeting during which Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council’s suggested that the Sizewell C plans are s lacking on detail and not considerate of local resident’s priorities.

TASC delivered a 1,500-strong petition to SCC leader Matthew Hicks. The petition was sent to SCC to ensure that councillors are aware that opposition to the proposed development is on the increase and that the council has a responsibility to take into account the negative and widespread social and environmental impacts the construction will bring.

A recent joint statement by SCDC and SCC indicates that while they remain in favour of the development ‘in principle’ but that neither authority can support Sizewell C given the present lack of information presented by EdF regarding how the putative benefits of the development will outweigh the ‘impacts on people and the environment’.

Pete Wilkinson, TASC’s chairperson, said today, ‘The case against Sizewell C is overwhelming. The development will force ten to twelve years of crippling social and environmental disruption on the county, particularly in the east but its effects will be felt across the county. It will fundamentally change the way of life in this region, cause people to lose their homes, destroy an area of outstanding natural beauty and leave us with another legacy of lethal radioactive waste which future generations will be required to manage while having derived no benefit. The need for new nuclear plants to meet our climate change, cost and electricity demands has been repeatedly shown to be false. Are we really prepared to turn this heritage coast from one of beauty, tranquillity, tourism and sustainability into an urbanised de facto nuclear waste store for centuries to come for the sake of electricity which we will not need by the time it begins to be generated and which can in any case be met by conservation, efficiency and decentralised means of production? We do not want our rural communities to become an urban nightmare of transport, noise, dust and disruption and neither do a growing number of people in the region. We turn to our politicians to ensure that sense prevails.’

A copy of a letter handed to Mathew Hicks can be found here

The petition wording:

'We, the undersigned, strongly oppose the plan by EDFE to construct 2 new Nuclear reactors at Sizewell in Suffolk. The destruction of AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), SSSI sites (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and the proximity to Minsmere bird reserve, all on our crumbling Suffolk coastline, is totally unacceptable. A government-backed programme of energy saving and clean renewable energy would combat climate change and avoid the risks of a catastrophic accident, dangers to health and the storage of highly radioactive waste at Sizewell for many years to come. SAY NO TO SIZEWELL C.'

In a three-hour cabinet meeting, the councillors voiced their dissatisfaction over missing feasibility studies and plans for buildings set to permanently disturb Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The stage three consultation by EDF on the current plans concludes on March 29th.